Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) is undoubtedly a band on the move. The Michigan quartet’s latest 7-inch, Year Of The Rabbit (available from Count Your Lucky Stars Records), is proof of that. Conceived in 2006 as a solo project of Keith Latinen, Empire! Empire!’s first release, When the Sea Became a Giant, received critical acclaim from press and peers alike. It was the kind of record that created a rush of nostalgia for fans 90s’ indie / emo. Now, backed by a full band, Year Of The Rabbit continues down that same path forged by Latinen, but offers even more definition and purpose to the unmistakable sound.
Unabashedly fueled with passion and honesty, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) is a band intent on touching the listener. Latinen describes the sound as “a throwback to really pretty, heart-on-your-sleeve, gut-wrenching stuff — that when you listen, you can tell the artist is pouring their heart out.”
This is what epitomizes the music of Empire! Empire!; it strives for a visceral connection between artist and listener. Year Of The Rabbit finds the band honing their skills and moving even closer to that goal. The instruments rise and fall as they carve out their own niche behind the charismatic Latinen. His vocals are moving and his words breathe sincerity. Harkening back to a simpler time — when emotion was real and never calculated — it’s impossible not to feel Empire! Empire!. The band leaves no doubt they are growing into something amazing right before our eyes. We’re just lucky to have the opportunity to watch it all unfold.