“Void Shaped Void,” Empress’s Mournful Tautology
Listening to Empress is a little like viewing the world through the opinionated lens of an antique camera. The Australian group's hazy, gothic-tinged rock creates the distinct impression of a haunting, vignetted portrait, while their exquisite control of volume, clarity, and aggression put them in complete control of the surreal scenes before your eyes. On their upcoming album Wait 'Til Night, pathos, bitterness, and spite come into brief and painful focus before they drift into lurking shadows. The track "Void Shaped Void," which we're premiering now, puts a particularly grievous topic into frame: losing something that you couldn't stand to lose.
The song winds its way between chilling acoustic verses and starkly powerful choruses, the latter backed by cathedral-sized drums and bombastic chords. While at the onset the lyrics are sung cleanly and emphatically, the delivery is still measured, as if holding back -- that restraint fractures halfway through, giving way to grief and devolving into near-howls.
Explaining the song's premise, the band comments:
"Void Shaped Void" is a song about loving, longing and losing. It encapsulates the feeling of missing something or someone completely irreplaceable, a constant pain that won't leave. An ache with every small moment remembered. It is mourning the loss of a part of yourself that someone else will forever hold. It is an emptiness that will never be filled.
Wait 'Til Night is at once both arrestingly personal and world-shifting: the full-bodied instrumentation can swell to dumbfounding peaks and still deliver emotional missives with targeted precision. On "Void Shaped Void," Empress aims this dynamic at the heart and pierces it.
Wait 'Til Night releases November 20th via Brilliant Emperor Records.