Empress Of the solo project of Los Angeles based producer, songwriter and singer Lorely Rodriquez shares a brand new unreleased track entitled “Woman Is A Word.” The powerful new song is yet another deeply personal and political track from the bright and talented artist.
Rodriguez shares: “Sometimes as a songwriter and a human, I feel very restricted by words. One word can have so much social implication, standard, limitation, qualification that it doesn’t give a person they’re own opportunity to really choose their identity. I wrote “Woman Is A Word” at a time when I felt like the word ‘woman’ put me in a box of things I was capable to do, things that defined me that didn’t necessarily define me.”
The song is said to be from her recording sessions for her critically acclaimed debut album Me (out now) which we picked as one of our favorite albums of 2015.
Currently Empress Of is on her own headlining tour, which will see her play NYC on March 25 and summer festivals including NRML, Pitchfork, FORM: Arcosanti and Moogfest. Additionally, she’s featured on a track with Darkstar called “Reformer” (below) that was released last week.
7 – Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
6 – Empress Of – Me
On her stunning debut, Lorely Rodriguez aka Empress Of delivers one of the most personal and engrossing electronic albums released this year. After moving from Brooklyn to a remote town in Mexico; Rodriguez wrote, recorded, and produced Meentirely on her own. Her time in isolation is greatly reflected on the album’s minimalist dance sound and deeply personal lyrics. Every song on this record feels like a page torn from her diary; with vivid verses that capture intense moments of love, sex (“Nothing comes between us/ But a piece of latex/ When you tear my clothes off/ Like I was a paycheck”), breakup (“You’re just a heart to break / Easy to manipulate / I want to care much more / But I’m feeling less and less.”) to intimate moments of doubt and self reflection. This album isn’t just a showcase of great songwriting craftsmanship; but also, a brilliant display of innovated, emotionally-driven, DIY dance-music.
5 – Shamir – Ratchet
Although Shamir’s debut title might suggest an “obscene” or “sloppy” (for lack of a better word) musical inclination; nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s nothing Ratchet about this glorious release by the talented 20-year-old Shamir Bailey. With his electric-falsetto and sassy vocals; along with productions that varied from Funk, R&B, Disco to 80s-electropop; the album offers plenty of brilliant, unexpected dance moments that contrasts the electropop perfectionism of Hot Chip and the funky, gender-fluidity of Prince. Simply put— a FUN, FUN, FUN, FUNKY record!
4 – Miguel – Wildheart
Miguel’s third album Wildheart could be greatly considered as an exploration of soul-searching by way of pure sexual hedonism. From the sleek and bold sexual ride of “The Valley” to the R&B seduction of “Coffee” and “Flesh” to the desolate moments of “what’s normal anyway”; Miguel masterly blurs the lines between love, sex and solitude on this dreamy, psychedelic ride for self-acceptance and discovery. Much like the steamy, color-melting blend of the album’s artwork, the sound of Wildheart is a sultry mixture of funky-electronica, trippy-guitar riffs over broody, R&B soundscapes. An absolutely incredible record!
3 – Roisin Murphy – Hairless Toys
Hairless Toys was not the pop record we were expecting after an 8-year absence; instead the divine Ms. Roisin Murphy blessed us with a regal musical piece that showcased her artistry extending far beyond the confining limits of pop —musically and visually (watch the videos!!). The sultry, Italo-disco groove of “Gone Fishing”, the Jazzy, synth-mutations of “Exploitation” and the funky, glimmering-pop beats of “Evil Eyes” are pinnacles that highlight her bravery, technicality, innovation and uncompromising, ever-evolving musical brilliance. Bravo, Ms. Murphy!
2 – ABRA – Rose
Undeniably, ABRA’sRose is one of the best DIY records released this year! The self-proclaimed “darkwave duchess” emerged early in 2015 with a sleek brand of gloomy, dance-jams that fused elements of house, nu-wave, R&B and 90s-electronica. Although most of the tracks are built around samples, low-key rhythms and snare drums; the self-produced artist manages to boast a lustrous musical space that’s sensually alluring and technically innovated at every turn. Her bald, lingering lyrics and sexy, honey-combs vocals add a layer of female empowerment and sensual confidence to the record that’s on par with Rihanna and FKA twigs. ABRA is yet to fully bloom; but we can already see the exciting potential behind every single petal of this captivating, electric Rose. BUY THIS!
1 – Grimes – Art Angels
There something indescribable about the music of Art Angles that is truly captivating. It has elements of dance, hip-hop, shoegaze, new wave, industrial, alt-rock and trip-hop… to try to pin-point its root genre is practically impossible. And yet, we can all agree that it’s a pop record. A pop record unlike any other. A pop record with a message. ‘Cause underneath it’s dazzling, shimmering pop concoctions lies commentary on current social issues; subjects like the treatment of female musicians in the industry (“California”), global warming (“Butterfly”) and environmental change (“Life In The Vivid Dream”). Grimes wrote, composed, performed, recorded, produced, and engineered the album in its entirety; a trade we’re seeing more and more these days with new female artist ( See above; ABRA, Empress Of) but one that is hardly ever publicize. So, Art Angels’ message isn’t simply on prevailing social issues, but a highlight of female empowerment, technical artistry and purveyance of innovation. A truly defining moment for female musicians; but most importantly, for pop music.
New York-based Lorely Rodriguez aka Empress Of, –an artist we haven’t had the chance to introduce, but have been following for months now– just unveiled one of her best videos to date. In the clip, directed by Eli Born and co-produced by Urban Outfitters as part of their UO Music Video Series; we see the singer in a deserted forest, surrounded by beautiful fall foliage as she contemplates the silence of nature. The slow-motion shots between the forest and NYC, along with Rodriguez spellbinding vocals capture a state of isolation that seems pure and comforting in a beautiful, strange way. The song and visuals are simply stunning!
“Icon” is the latest single taken from Rodriguez’s phenomenal debut, Me out now!