This is a track that’s not afraid to deliver a message, but when it’s delivered with such energy and latin/synth-pop groove, how could you not listen?
Straight off the bat you’re hit with chiming triplets and a huge synth pad that opens up at a sweep of the filter. All of this to form the basis on which Empress Of shows her despair, anger and contempt towards restrictive gender norms that fail to capture us as individuals. Empress Of is the solo project of LA producer Lorely Rodriguez, who having reached the end of her patience with life in Brooklyn, funnelled her frustrations into this 2016 B-side.
The vocals are delivered with such presence that they convey both a sense of vulnerability and power; her voice morphing both lyrically and melodically. Whilst the lyrics are kept simple and on-point, subtle changes to the delivery to the title line carry you along through a song that feels well crafted.
I’m particularly captured by the production of this track, from the use of cowbell that heavily nods to Lorely’s Latin American roots to the tight reverb that envelopes the synth lead giving it an almost gated sound. There’s no mistaking elements of East Coast house too, seeping through the pop sheen and hinting at her time spent living and studying between Boston and Brooklyn.
The simple layering of a couple of synth lines, cowbell, kick, claps and vocals keep this track focused and allows for tons of space in the mix for each component. The real genius however, comes as result of limiting the triplets back to quarter notes in the fourth bar. Halfway through the song it creates a playoff against the straight disco hand-claps, creating a syncopation that hooks you in.
I suggest turning the volume up loud and hitting the play button below!