Empty Pools ‘Liberation Prayers’ | EP Review

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It takes care to craft a record that steps outside the sonic into its own sense of place. Listening to ‘Liberation Prayers’ is akin to walking an urban street in the hazy light of a summer’s evening; easy indie sitting comfortably among the scattered squall of noise rock and jazz-flecked throwback. Empty Pools occupy a sound and time all of their own on this release, transplanting the New York suburban attitude of bands like Lemuria and imprinting an implacable South-West charm upon it to create a new noise.

‘Into Static’ is a driving opener that sets the pace, recalling the stripped back swagger of Blood Red Shoes and allowing the middle portion of the EP to recline in that distinctive summer twilight vibe. ‘Downers’ meanwhile explores a bigger, alt-influenced sound for an experimental close.

The staccato guitars and funk-flirting bass alone could have tipped ‘Liberation Prayers’ into twee territory, but the tracks are given their gravity by a mature and dark vocal delivery from the understated Leah Pritchard. Yes, there are moments when the band meander, such as on the unspectacular ‘Shirtless’, but for each of these moments there is another to enhance their moody indie charm and keep you engaged.

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