WE LOVE YOUR SONGS BLOG
Artist Of The Week: Sounds Of The Empire
The first featured artist to kick-off this new column is: Sounds of the Empire. I spent a lot of time moving from genre to genre within WeLoveYourSongs. I was looking specifically for that opening sound. That transcendent fusion when all of the single elements of a song fit perfectly together; greater than the sum of their parts. A sound that has you hooked from the moment you hear it. It was exactly that sound that I discovered when I listened to Sounds of the Empire.
Their profile explains that the band was formed in mid-2010. Though they are all residents of Great Britain it is interestingly noted that all of the members of the band originally hail from South Africa. I feel compelled to break this brilliant four-piece down and explain their individual roles. The vocals delivered by Stuart Dooley are sharp, soulful and unique. Dooley’s vocals are delivered with the sort of rock panache that conveys confidence and experience. Dooley’s voice is expertly supported by mercurial sound of guitarist Matthew Alston. Alston’s thundering and intoxicating riff leaves the melody playing in your head long after the song has finished. These two elements combine perfectly on track Swallow Up The Stars. The song with its pounding bass-line; courtesy of Clark Buys, is marshalled by the fantastic sense of urgency created in the rhythm by drummer Paul Dettman. The stand-out performer on this track however is Alston, who creates and instantly recognizable guitar hook that is punctured mid-way with a blisteringly gorgeous solo. I urge every reader to check this track out; it is pure gold.
The tracks following; Love To Love and Delilah Lie, continue in a different style than their opener. Love To Love sees Dooley’s lyrics supported to a greater extent by Buys’ rolling bass line. This technique offers a greater change of pace as Alston’s stunning guitar hooks are held until the chorus and again it is a sheer delight to hear him open the song up. Dooley’s voice is again perfectly balanced for the higher-tempo of this track; it is Buys’ funk-style bass line that gives this track such a strong musical identity. The production and set-up here, holding back Alston’s guitar licks until the chorus and letting Buys’ bass line draw you in, shows that the band have a very good understanding of how to craft a very driven and satisfying sound.
Delilah Lie returns to a slow burning guitar riff and is carried effortlessly by Dooley’s vocals. I’m not sure which member of the band writes the lyrics but they are more than simply competent, the lyrics are clever, well-executed and genuinely soulfully crafted. There isn’t one song that just straddles along without ever really getting going; each and every track is created with a view to holding the listener and you get the impression that this is a band that genuinely enjoys creating their music. I have certainly enjoyed listening to them and reviewing them. I strongly urge you to check out their Facebook page and the songs featured on their WLYS profile. You will not be disappointed.
WLYS Profile: http://weloveyoursongs.com/artist/1252/Sounds+Of+The+Empire
Tracks: Swallow up the Stars, Love to Love, Delilah Lie, Velvet Day and This is US
SoundTrap Favourites: Swallow up the Stars, Love to Love and This is Us
Review made by Ross Jones.
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