Visitor by EmpathRelease date: February 11, 2022
Label: Fat Possum Records
Empath make music that combines psychedelic elements with a noise rock backbone all wrapped up in a hazy, dreamlike vibe. The band’s latest album Visitor follows their debut record Active Listening: Night On Earth and is another collection of dirge-laden songs laced with an irresistible and uplifting feeling that will lift your spirits as you listen.
There are plenty of high points on Visitor from the opening salvo of ‘Genius Of Evil’ onwards and tracks like ‘Born 100 Times’, ‘Passing Stranger’ and ‘Elvis Comeback Special’ sound especially massive while ‘Corner Of Surprise’, ‘House + Universe’ and ‘80s’ are all energetic flashes of colour and sound and perfectly demonstrate the vivacity that Empath have. There are many electronic flourishes throughout as well, especially on a track like ‘Diamond Eyelids’, which features a synth heavy freak out and demonstrates exactly what a vibrant band Empath are.
The same goes for the epic soundscape that is ‘V’, a beautifully longing track that despite its initial downbeat nature, transforms into a piece of music that is sublimely captivating.
The album ends with the spiky groove of ‘Bell’ and the upbeat and aptly titled ‘Paradise’ finishes things on a high note, even with the strange but captivating conclusion to the song.
It has to be said that Catherine Elicson is a fine vocalist indeed with her passionate vocals a focal point throughout this album and she is ably backed by the rest of Empath as they form a strong base for her vocals to soar over and this makes the album a dream to listen to.
With Visitor, Empath have made an album that sounds hopeful but also wistful at times, although ultimately it always sounds like a set of songs that define spirit and not giving up the fight. A fine follow up to a well assured debut album and one that shows how much Empath are developing and delivering as a band.