Release Date: Oct 4, 2019
Record label: Fat Possum Records
Philadelphia noise-pop outfit Empath make music that's both nebulous and lucid. Their 2018 EP Liberating Guilt and Fear made Paste's list of best EPs of the year thanks to tracks like "The Eye" and "No Attachment." Their first release collected the best of noise-punk harshness, bubblegum pop melodies and avant-garde sonic flourishes--each making up an integral part of Empath's sound. Their debut album Active Listening: Night on Earth, released this month on DIY label Get Better Records, is further proof that you can achieve the highest highs of pop via unconventional musical vehicles.
The ecstatic gestures of Empath's noise rock tend to fall in and out of focus. At first, the band lets you get a firm grip on the shape of their songs; then the songs lose their shape entirely. In the first 30 seconds of their full-length debut Active Listening: Night on Earth, Empath weave together synth-pop bass, a rock'n'roll backbeat, and a muted funk guitar.