Philadelphia quartet Empath have announced a new album, Visitor, which is out February 11 via Fat Possum. Today’s announcement comes with the release of the new single ‘Diamond Eyelids’, which follows September’s ‘Born 100 Times’ and comes with an accompanying Halle Ballard-directed video. Check it out below, and scroll down for the LP’s cover artwork (photographed by Andrew Emond) and tracklist.
“This song was written in a stream of consciousness from a few pieced together memories I had,” vocalist/guitarist Catherine Elicson said of ‘Diamond Eyelids’ in a statement. “One of coming downstairs at my house one morning and unexpectedly finding a friend who lives on the other side of the country asleep on the couch, and the other memory was of when a friend used to travel from Chicago an hour and a half to the suburbs to work full time at a low paying Americorps job. Collaging memories in a way that created an emotional narrative about reaching for a fleeting moment of connection and familiarity.”
Of the song’s video, Elicson added:
The idea for this music video was spawned from a desire to have some kind of puppet video of us made. I knew that Halle could pull that off, so she started making all of us and our instruments out of papier mache, which took a couple months. When it came to the clothes we weren’t really sure how to go about making those. I suggested maybe they just stay naked and be babies in a womb, and the whole concept of the video kind of snowballed from that. Halle had a pregnancy suit from a previous project, and we agreed it would take the video to a weird psychological level and also be funny if I were to wear it and give birth to myself and the rest of the band. A lot of Halle’s work deals with mother daughter themes so it just felt like it made sense to go that direction.
According to a press release, Visitor was inspired by the scores for Nosferatu (1922) and The Wicker Man (1973), as well as David Bowie’s Low and Fleetwood Mac. It was produced by Jake Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra), making it the first release the group has recorded with a producer in a formal studio. Empath’s debut record, Active Listening: Night on Earth, arrived in 2019.
Visitor Cover Artwork:
1. Genius of Evil
2. Born 100 Times
3. Diamond Eyelids
4. Passing Stangers
5. Corner of Surprise
6. House + Universe
7. Elvis Comeback Special