When Empress Of pops across your inbox, you perk up, which is exactly what happened when we saw that Pional had paired up with the Brooklyn siren for a collab. The reveal comes right as the Barcelona-based producer is prepping to release his new EP, When Love Hurts at the end of the month. Described as “a song about a toxic relationship,” the new track “The Way That You Like” is a riveting, sonically tense electronic tune sustained by rhythmic synths, dynamic drum beats, and of course the enchanting vocals of Lorely Rodriguez. Listen below.
When Love Hurts will be out on September 30 via Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records, and you can pre-order here.
Blood Orange, aka Dev Hynes has just put out his most personal and political record to date, dropping Freetown Sound on Domino three days ahead of the scheduled July 1 release. The album title is a nod to the capital of Sierra Leone, where Hynes’ father was born.
In a press release the acclaimed Brooklyn-based artist and producer states: “I have just finished making an album about my life, my upbringing, being black in England, being black in America… my movement to this country at the age of 21, the same age that my mother moved from Guyana to London, and my father from Sierra Leone to London.” The statement also notes that Freetown Sound is a “confluence of Hynes’ past, present, and future that melds his influences with his own established musical voice.”
The entire album is a must-listen, but we’re especially delighted that Dev came together with another of our favorite artists, Empress Of, to collaborate on a song that is one of the LP’s finest — “Best To You.” The track combines the best of both artists’ worlds: Blood Orange’s skittering ’80s synthpop aesthetic and Lorely Rodriguez’ gorgeously verdant vocals.
Stream via Spotify below, and as a bonus check out the empress’ recent collab with Darkstar. The single, “Reformer” will be out on Darkstar’s new EP Made To Measure July 15.
Semi last-minute edition of Remix Roundup this weekend, because why not. Empress Of produced one of our favorite records this past year, and now her tourmate, ABRA the darkwave duchess has reworked her single “Standard.” While the original is excellent in its own right, ABRA’s edit adds a frenetic, skittering element with a characteristic dark-pop edge that fans of Empress Of are sure to appreciate.
Next is the recent RAC remix of Minneapolis’ trio ON AND ON‘s early 2015 track “Drifting.” Elevated by RAC’s graceful electronic beats, André Anjos twists the track into a fuller, more dynamic recast using the original acoustic-leaning cut as a framework. Notable is Nate Eiesland’s vocals, which even when while yowling “I gotta get out” during the chorus still sound exquisite.
And last but not least is a reinterpretation of a song by newcomer Delaire from purveyors of dreamy electronic music, Delorean. As usual, the Spanish quartet made an outstanding choice by borrowing the beautiful debut track, “Belief” from the UK chanteuse and bringing it into the limelight with their stunning, diffuse and synth-injected rendition.
We’ve been primed and ready for this day for awhile now. Lorely Rodriguez (aka Empress Of) has finally released her debut LP, Me, which is nothing short of majestic. Written during a solitary five-week stint at a secluded small town in Mexico, Rodriguez’s self-produced and first full-length is an explosive and raw exploration of interpersonal relations. Pitchfork put it best — the record is a ‘requiem for a doomed romance.’
“Water Water” was on repeat on our playlist since it was offered up earlier this summer as a first taste, and hearing the rest of the album we could not be more thrilled. A dazzling blend of avant-R&B and intelligent pop, Rodriguez is in her element with the thoughtful lyricism and exhilarating synth production exhibited on the LP. Out on Terrible Records today, put your money where your mouth is and purchase the album on iTunes.
Last time Empress Of played in the DC area, she had a coveted spot opening for Florence & The Machine at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and thankfully she’ll be returning this fall to play in the intimate venue of DC9. Get your tickets for the October 14 show here.
Empress Of is the enigmatic new songstress out of Brooklyn with one of the more amusing artist sites I’ve ever seen. With her distinctive and engaging dreampop sound, singer/producer Lorely Rodriguez released her debut EP Systems last year and has been touring around ever since. Stream “Realize You” and “Hat Trick” below, and if you’re one of the lucky ones at SXSW, catch her at the Elysium this Saturday, 3/15.