words by Jacqui Wonder

In a gorgeous, modern songbird tone Empress Of asks us “should [she] be afraid?” on the opening bars of lead track ‘Everything is You’ on her stunning debut album Me.

Empress Of, aka Lorely Rodriguez, is a relative newcomer, bringing a fresh and lively sound that she has single-handedly written, produced, recorded and engineered. That is one helluva CV for a one-woman production.

I’ve already been crushing for a while on ‘Water Water’, which despite it’s late night vibes, actually goes a bit deeper than your typical electro track, looking at the world issue of water scarcity. ‘Kitty Kat’ takes another vein, where Rodriguez extols the double standards of street harassment. Thoughtful lyrics, tight production, great vocals.

Rodriguez keeps a high standard across the album, but with the exception of the above tracks, keeps subject matter to her personal experiences – breakups, new relationships, self-reliance. The lyrics are all highly relatable and with catchy, songbird vocals you’d be forgiven for getting caught doing the old mouthing-the-words-with-headphones-in-while-sitting-on-the-train.

But all that – lyrics, vocals, subject matter – it’s not what caught my attention. The addictive opening bars of ‘Kitty Kat’ or ‘Water Water’, the mesmerising chords of ‘Make Up’, the dance beats of ‘How Do You Do It’ and the pandemonium of ‘Threat’ – it’s great, freaking original music that evokes a response from the very first beat.

Colour me impressed, I cannot wait to see what Empress Of has in store in a live show – come visit us soon Lorely.

Rating: ★★★★

You can pick up a copy of Me by Empress Of now from iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/EmpressOfhttp://www.soundcloud.com/empressof https://twitter.com/empressof