I’m often quoted as saying that ‘such and such band will be huge’ or ‘watch out for these guys’. It’s very easy to fall into these clichés review after review – particularly when writing about young bands with only an EP to their name.
Prepare to be whacked over the head by that cliché, because Electric Empire are already going places fast. Their incredible blues and roots stylings are garnering international attention as they’ve graced the stage at the infamous Glastonbury and even managed to venture to Kazakhstan for a performance. If the bands they’re supporting are any kind of inkling as to their level of talent – Electric Empire have gone on the road with the likes of Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne.
All of this is on the back of their debut, independently released record in 2010. Long story short – they’re bloody good.
Which brings us to a new EP, Changin’, and it’s clear that nothing’s changed in the
caliber of performance on this latest offering from the Empire. What has changed a bit is the balance of the range of influences the band take – with the roots sound taking a lesser role in comparison to those funk and soul gems that the band brazenly lather each track with.
The title track rings of soul, blues and Britpop as Oasis undertones mask the
ladsy soul vocal hooks that span the entire record. A string section towards the end is particularly resonant with Noel Gallagher-penned track What a Life, which is a comparison I never expected to make with a soul record.
There’s no wondering why it was that Aloe Blacc took these guys on tour with him, because the following two tracks keep up the pace. Taking It High is another soulful masterpiece and Hello Mr Morning doesn’t let up either.
The relatively short EP culminates with a live performance of a staple of the Empire’s sets: Love. Recorded in Sydney, it sounds as crisp as you imagine it should.
There’s not much more to say other than to implore you to listen. It’s only going to take you twenty minutes to give it a go and I guarantee that after one minute you’ll be hooked anyway!