Review: Empress' Industrial Post-Punk Record 'Ink' Is Buzzy DIY

By: Jesse Sandoval

As the semester comes to a close, a buzz is in the air. Most of us, I imagine, are bristling with the months-long amount of pent up energy that wintertime often leaves us with. We’re biding our time, tending to the last of our stifling inside-duties ‘til that special time of release: summertime, summertime, summertime! And what better music to accommodate these feelings than Empress' most recent release, Ink?

Listen to Ink:

Ink is fun. It’s catchy, it's melodic, it’s earnest, it's punk. Over the span of four years, Empress have been honing their own style of industrial/post-punk and with this release, the Denver-based band has proven they have come into their own. Their DIY approach has led them to a state of self-sufficiency that I am sure many bands pine for. Members Santiago (vocals/percussion), Xavier (bass/rhythm guitar), and Alex (lead guitar/bass) all live together and record everything in their house. This allows them to record at any moment of inspiration and, from what I’m told, them doing just this is not uncommon. Several of the tracks on Ink are likely products of some band member’s sleep being interrupted in order to capture a moment’s inspiration before it’s lost in deep dreams…



The music on Ink is completely enjoyable because of how straight-cut and organic it is. Empress don’t try to be anything they’re not, and don’t try to affect any sound that isn’t true: they do what they do and that’s it. Their music is strong because of it’s simplicity, and ultimately, it works because it accurately conveys some of the most basic feelings we all share: feelings of longing, of unrequited love, of disconnectedness, of humanity.

As Empress have developed their musical abilities, they’ve also taught themselves to mix their own music (I’m a sucker for DIY) and the progress they’ve made in their last four years is very impressive. In the time since they cut Ink, they have actually been working on some new tracks and were kind enough to share some of those with me too. It’s clear that they are expanding and breaking their own molds, and I can see that there will be more to look forward to from Empress. Unfortunately, we will not be able to witness their long-term growth first-hand because come May, they will be moving to LA to shake up what they can there.

Good news is, on Saturday, May 6th they will be playing a show to celebrate their departure at Seventh Circle Music CollectiveThe Beeves, Meeting House, and others will share the stage. So go give Empress a warm Colorado farewell, and keep up with up with the trio after their move here.

RIYL: Joy Division, New Order, Wipers, The Cure, NIN


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Explore The Mystique That Is Foxygen at Denver's Gothic Theatre Next Tuesday (04.04)

By: Sierra Voss

“Theres something about these guys, some sort of exotic mystique. Foxygen was never just one band, Foxygen is the bang of two combusting minds...” -Alex Cameron (from Foxygen’s new tour trailer)

Dou Sam France and Jonathan Rado formed the band Foxygen at age 15 in 2005. They released their first album, Take The Kids Off Broadway in 2012, followed by We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic in 2013 and double album ...And Star Power in 2014. Their last tour in 2015, which they dubbed their “Farewell Tour,” had everyone convinced the magic had sadly come to an end for good. But then this January, the band released their most recent LP Hang and got us all excited again.

Somewhat reminiscent of Bowie, these two treat every album as a separate piece of art with a separate story, different characters, and very different sounds. My best description of the duo is that Foxygen are a masterfully calculated mosaic of pop culture. They pull from every genre and influence to create chaotic order, which has made for some of the most dynamic songwriting out there and certainly been a part of their rumored “mystique.” Their live shows encapsulate a full-bodied artistic performance that has been said to feel like “a 70s London concert hall watching a band open up for The Clash combined with a 60s jazz club and a Led Zeppelin show.”

Needless to say, Foxygen’s youthful and creative spirit matched with their sophisticated songwriting should have you excited for their upcoming Denver Gothic show next Tuesday, April 4th. Get tickets here!

Check out Foxygen’s music video for their latest single “Follow The Leader”:


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.