[Best Of 2013] Favorite New Artist: Empress Of
Having to choose my favorite new artist for 2013 caused me to almost lose my mind. Think that scene in the second Harry Potter, The Chamber of Secrets, where Dobby, the House Elf takes a lamp to the head repeatedly. Picking just one from this year, while difficult, was also satisfying- I got to go through the past twelve months of my listening history like a time capsule. Thus a conclusion was made!
This year was exceptional when it came to new acts and their subsequent releases. Yet, as none of you will find this as much of a surprise, I’ve taken off my hat and given a formal bow (nose touching floor et al) to this years pop. Female based pop made me the happiest, and furthermore, the oceanic gem that is Brooklyn based Empress Of (Lorely Roderiguez). Not being able to see her while in New York just a couple weeks ago caused distress that only a real feind could understand.
It’s a little difficult not to fall in love with Empress Of. First being introduced to her with the single “Hat Trick” in Feburary, I was immediately struck by the intelligent way she was able to curate pop. She creates this dichotomy of off-put synths with faeirie light and monochromatic 80s vocals that build, layered on top of each other to create “other worldly” arrangements.
Her sound is suprising, bubbly, and infectious. A sweetness that isn’t at all sickening, but is unexpected. Empress Of is a colorful retreat from the clichés of bedroom pop bursting out of Brooklyn. I meant what I said earlier when I called her an “ocean gem” (Google it). She encapsulates an athereal experience in just four minutes or less. There’s a charm about her that I can’t quite shake-the pull of the girl everyone seems to want to talk to at the party. An inexplainable draw that the world will always celebrate. I am sincere when I say, I cannot wait to hear more.