Paper Scissors Rock [Release date 01.02.19]
Empire Circus formed in 2012 and released their self-titled debut album the following year. The line-up remains that of Alan Doyle (vocals, guitar), Neil Eurelle (bass, vocals), David Walsh (guitar, keyboards) and Brian Ellis (drums).
After recording ‘High Above this Grey There’s Blue’ during a three day recording stint in Brooklyn in mid-2016, they recorded a further four songs in 2017, of which three make this album and then in the summer of last year they recorded the remaining songs that make up ‘Ti’. It is an album recorded over a number of years and locations, however it all gels together and makes for an impressive listen.
The music is varied, be it the delicious indie pop of ‘Sometimes I Cry’, complete with a neat twangy guitar solo, or the bleaker musical soundscape of ‘Salt’, the album’s lead single. Empire Circus do have quite bleak lyrics at times, however these are always wrapped in strong melodies to sweeten the bitterness. ‘We March Into The Night’ being a case in point, concerning the current state of the world, yet the choral backing and gentle guitar chords add a magical air.
‘Mercy’ is another gentle tune, with wistful backing vocals and a simply gorgeous guitar throughout. When they do songs like this and ‘High Above this Grey There’s Blue’ they really come into their own.
‘High Above this Grey There’s Blue’ is a truly uplifting and moving song, one that personally became a musical support following the death of my dad. A mellow melody that has a gloriously uplifting part midway through.
Empire Circus have produced an album of enyoable and thoughtful, melodic indie pop rock. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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