| November 6, 2012
Empress Of – Champagne


In the Age of the Internet, novelty is a dying breed. Rarely do we encounter innovation, and even less frequently do we hear any kind of originality paired with quality. For every Justin there are five million wanna-Biebers out there uploading years worth of terrible Glee-covers into the abyss.

Cue mpressof, an esoteric YouTube channel populated with synth-filled, ethereal, one-to-two minute-long sound bites. I apologize in advance for the scare-quotes, but the artist’s unprecedented format must be seen to be understood: each “song” is titled by number—“1” through “15”—and set to a “music video,” what might more literally be described ode to prettycolors.tumblr.com. Wistfully hazy, each track is like an interlude or a bridge to the best part of the best song that I’ve never heard before…but what is the point?

One month since I first stumbled upon this YouTube gem, the answer has arrived in the form of the first-ever single from Empress Of. The woman behind the enigmatic moniker, Brooklyn resident Lorely Rodriguez, elevates the basic idea of “7” to its fullest potential with the single’s psychedelic A-side, “Champagne.” A little bit Dirty Projectors, a little bit Animal Collective, Empress Of’s strange-but-amazing dissonant harmony defies previous conventions, a freshness underscored by the track’s beyond-bizarre music video from Samuel Morris Hamad, which features a split-screen close up Rodriguez’s face as she messily devours a slice of watermelon. Prepare yourself, then watch above.