Maybe it's the thunder of the ocean accompanying a guitar that influences their bolstering sounds the most. Or maybe it was a band mate's youth, tied up in forced-turned-flourishing piano playing, that aids the most in his band's rich, haunting melodies. Or perhaps it was the years of friendship, offering an authenticity of lyrical honesty, that resonates so much with each and every listener.
Or maybe it's because growing up in Australia gifted them with seemingly endless summers to ignite and inspire collaborative music playing. Whatever their influences, New Empire (comprised of Kale Kneale, Jeremy Fowler, Nathan Cairns, and Kyle Lane) has mastered the ability to create music as refreshing as their beach-bred roots.
It's that talent, matched with their Down Under upbringing, that provided them a multitude of opportunities to play with established acts such as Owl City, Switchfoot, Neon Trees, and Reliant K (to name a few). With exposure and growing popularity, the band plunged into success; from being added to the bill at numerous festivals, to their native country picking one of their songs to act as the theme for Australia's Summer Olympics, it was obvious that listeners everywhere couldn't get enough of their sound. Now, with their debut album on Tooth & Nail Records on the horizon, they're ready to propel themselves further and farther as artists driven to use their talents to motivate the masses.
"We understand that music is an extremely powerful force that can be used in both positive and negative ways," explains Fowler, "we want to hopefully become a soundtrack to people that makes a difference in their everyday journey."
The band's new album In A Breath walks through relatable themes of loss, authenticity, regret, and honesty. Instrumentally, they wanted to produce a record that listeners can get lost in and explore. New Empire's sound introduces refreshing and complex tunes that truly envelope and awe. The name in and of itself mirrors their sound; New Empire is fresh and overpowering.
Take their track, "Relight the Fire". Inspired by a trip to Dubai, the song weaves together stringed Middle Eastern instruments with a contemporary pop-driven chorus. "Experiencing and seeing the vast history of different countries really changed my life and perspective of the world," recounts Fowler, "it really inspired me to write songs that will reach different people and last." By accessing history and interlacing it with modern inspirations, the track is innovative and larger than life.
Songs like "The Sun Won't Sleep", "Tale of Jonah", and "Fallen Soldiers" act as more flawless examples of their colourful and unique creativity. Epic soundscapes are matched with expressive and sincere lyrics, creating an eager and abounding sound drenched in authenticity.
And although many of their songs bustle with an otherworldly vibrancy, they also access the reality of life. The track that named their album, "In A Breath", addresses true burdens and grievances. The lyrics, "I'm saving the pictures of your soul / To some you're just a memory / To me you're home / And I will never say I don't miss you / Cause I can't lie you know me too well / And I'll see you in a breath / I will see you in a breath" approach the heaviness of absence and the hope of reunion. The piano whispers behind the weightiness of the words, with a lofty chorus and horned section that offers a beautiful, yet haunting lament.
The musicians that create New Empire are multi-faceted. Their talent, drive, and spirit bleed into their album in a way that, in a breath, makes you feel nostalgic and imaginative.
"So, maybe it was the thunderous ocean. Maybe it was the Australian summers or the early sprouted friendships. Maybe it was a welding together of it all that inspired them the most. Regardless of the maybes, one thing is for certain. A new sound has been built: it's New Empire."