The Next Band To Change Your Life: Empty Houses

Empty-Houses

If you have been following along to the Twitter chatter in the alternative music realm this week you have no doubt seen someone mention Empty Houses, the Detroit-based trio of Ali Shea, Adam Mercer, and Dave Mackinder (Fireworks). January is a busy time so it’s completely understandable if you didn’t have time to commit to the article those tweets hopefully included, or perhaps you did only to find you had no time to commit to the music in store. That’s fine. Social media has become a flood of ICYMI headlines as of late, so you’ll still have plenty of chances to discover Noisey’s great coverage in the days ahead. For now you’re here, so take a moment and fall in love:

“Far Away” is the song blogs are pushing from Empty Houses and it’s easy to understand why: With Mackinder being the recognizable name this song bares the most similarities to his writing for Fireworks. It’s at this point the comparisons end, however, as the rest of the song, as well as many additional moments throughout the EP, take their cues from the era when Motown dominated the airwaves. You could say it’s pulled from Detroit and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but it’s bigger than the city. This is a universal sound, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg as far as memorable moments go.

This is where Shea really begins to shine. There are hints of 1950s pop here, but as the song progresses so does the time periods that influenced its creation. The piano accompaniment takes the whole affair to another level, but it’s Shea who makes it unforgettable. You find yourself heading to Google in hopes there is some overlooked indie/alt/shoegaze/acoustic whatever project with her voice you never heard, but alas – such ventures will find no treasures. This is her first real introduction to the public, and by the time this song reaches your ears its hard to imagine parting ways.

Someone find a time machine and tell the Jackson 5 they’re about to have a serious challenger on the charts. The upbeat nature of “Far Away” meets the immediately grabbing vocals of Shea to form the perfect pop combination. It’s not even a throwback because the lyrics are undeniably born from the present. The melodies and metaphors are clearly inspired from a number of eras long gone, but much like their colorful wordplay there’s an inherent sense of fun that lives forever. The music transports you to another place when it plays, freeing you of the worries and stresses that plague everyday life. It’s pure escapism in music form, and you’ll want to return to the beginning as soon as the journey comes to an end.

You can stream and purchase (for as little as $1) the entire debut EP from Empty Houses on Bandcamp.

Written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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