Empath have announced their new album Visitor, set to be released on February 11th via Fat Possum. Pre-order here. The announcement comes alongside warmly intoxicating and dance-floor worthy new single “Diamond Eyelids” and accompanying bare-it-all music video directed by Halle Ballard.
Speaking about the new single singer Catherine Elicson said:
“This song was written in a stream of consciousness from a few pieced together memories I had. One of coming downstairs at my house one morning and unexpectedly finding a friend who lives on the other side of the country asleep on the couch, and the other memory was of when a friend used to travel from Chicago an hour and a half to the suburbs to work full time at a low paying Americorps job. Collaging memories in a way that created an emotional narrative about reaching for a fleeting moment of connection and familiarity.“
Talking about the new album a press release said:
On Visitor, Empath sought to one-up the range of sounds heard on their previous album. During what he calls West Philly Christmas (the week undergrads at UPenn move out and leave piles of high-quality garbage out on the street) Randall Coon recovered a suitcase organ with a sound bank from a Jamiroquai record preset on it, which he later played on the album, in addition to running samples on Ableton and acquiring a brand new synth; Jem Shanahan, who plays a ‘90s children’s keyboard, had Portrait filter it in such a way that it sounded “less childlike”; Catherine Elicson’s vocals, buried deep in the mix on Active Listening: Night on Earth, take center stage; and Garrett Koloski’s drums are as capacious as they might be in a live set.
“Our approach to songwriting, and what we constantly try to improve upon, is finding the meeting ground between all of our distinct points of view and ideas we are trying to achieve sonically and conceptually,” Elicson says. “We never want to be tied down to one type of song or sound, and we love all kinds of improvisational music. We try to fit everything we love into each song, and hopefully produce something new and exciting through that process of synthesis.”
Visitor attempts to fill space, both physical and psychic, visible and invisible. The album’s cover was photographed by Andrew Emond, who captures the interiors of abandoned buildings. “The spaces look lived in and altered by humans but no humans are present,” Elicson reflects. “The songs are similar in the sense that they talk about the ‘space’ between people. They’re not about specific people per se, but they illustrate the feelings people leave between each other, these subjective experiences. You can think of Visitor as a soundtrack to the memories and feelings that remain in places people have left behind.”