After hearing a preview of The Empty Page’s latest single, Big Nasty Palpitations, during their support slot for BERRIES at Gullivers in March and witnessing the visceral fire that has been lit under the Manchester-based emissaries of anxious angst, all it took was the impetus of the angular guitars and subversive anthemics to convince me that it would be the quintessential indie pop hit of the summer.
It may not be your archetypal boy meets girl before releasing a ‘better off without you’ single in the Autumn. The 80s industrial augmented hit is a testament to where society will stand this summer, with conflict scattering rubble like confetti and blowing equally sizeable holes in our assurance that the world is a safe place where your liberty can’t be stripped away at the whim of a sadistically malignant narcissist.
For the anxious, feel your palpitating heart catch in your tight throat under the duress of buzzsaw riffs that are now definitively back in trend. For anyone privileged enough to not know what it feels like to go under when it appears fabric of tangible reality has been pulled from beneath you, grab a snapshot of the dissent into consternation.
Kel said: “Everyone I know has paper-thin mental health at the moment. The world is run by terrifying people who have little regard for us powerless humans who are just trying to get on with our lives. I woke up one too many times with the fear and reached for a pen at 3am to get those grim feelings out of my system. We’ve always been a socially aware band, and the new album definitely has a glittery, dystopian thread running through it that I think is very apparent on this track.”
Big Nasty Palpitations, produced by Morton Kong at Eve Studios, Stockport, hit the airwaves on May 26 ahead of their sophomore LP, which is set to drop later this year.
Sloth may be the seventh deadly sin in the eyes fixated on the demonisation of the human condition, but here to absolve us of our indolent transgressions is the ever-relatable Manchester outfit, The Empty Page, with their latest single, Level Sedentary. The second single from the forthcoming sophomore LP, released on March 3rd, is an art rock masterpiece for its mid-way descent into maniacal obscurity.
Breaking from the melodic destigmatisation of idle introversion, the ties that bind dejection to depression conceptually sprawl through the middle eight, pulling you into the murky depths of discord before your cognitions collide with the reminder that some of the greatest creative minds maintained a proclivity towards inertia.
The producer, Morton Kong, evidently knew just how to pull The Empty Page into their elevated experimental own with Level Sedentary. In a time when it is impossible to fully disconnect from the chaos of the external world, the ability to revel in it under the duress of a compassionately candid duo is worth more than words could ever convey.
Rather than releasing a sonic sign of the stagnant times, The Empty Page protested our drab and dog-eared-with-anxiety modernity by letting pulsating synths guide the way towards 90s nostalgia in their electro-punk hit, Dry Ice.
Lyrically, you’re reminded of how it felt to be stripped of inhibition, sharing the euphoria with strangers long before they could request you on Facebook and never speak to you again and even longer before the pandemic left its mark on our social appetites while the dizzying guitars drop off-kilter momentum around the gravelly pulls of the post-punk bass strings.
It’s a major shift from the Manchester-based outfit’s previous sound that has been lauded by just about everyone that matters. The duo has ventured into their The Julie Ruin era, and we couldn’t be here for it more. After all, synths were the true gateway to punk and DIY (FIGHT ME), and this new anxiously frenetic earworm that will pull Polaroids of strobe-lit hedonism towards your temporal lobe is the ultimate affront to the new normal.
Dry Ice will officially release on November 18th. Watch the official video on YouTube, add it to your Spotify playlists, or support the band by purchasing the single on Bandcamp.