Listen: Alpines – Empires (Single Review)


Alpines have received so much love from so many important people this year, not least from Florence Welch who asked them to support her (and the Machine) at their Alexandra Palace shows in March. Luckily for our ears they have also announced the release of new single “Empires” on 11th June.

The London duo knows how to bring a fresh mix of sounds in a powerful way. They have been compared to The XX and this is no surprise considering how their songs abound with such haunting simplicity.

“Empires” kicks off with a killer percussive intro. The beat begins in a way that’s a little ‘We Will Rock You’ but then sublimely manifests a cool, almost hip hop slant. This, along with a watery riff, forms the building blocks of the track as Catherine Pockson weaves in her vocals with a simple melodic verse that fits perfectly with the feel of the track, doing no more and no less than necessary.

The song builds to a chorus that brings with it a sense of the epic. Its easy to see why Florence was so keen to snap these guys up, as the song offers the same essence of detached grandeur that her music does. Pockson’s strong but ethereal vocal sets off the mood and offers an emotional hook.

Alpines must be commended for how this track progresses. It’s subtle but brilliant as the saturation of the drums and instrumentation increases, creating a tension that accentuates the strength of the chorus. A classic song-writing move pulled off to perfection.

If music were a tangible thing this song would be like honey. You will want to eat it, you might even want to bathe in it and you will definitely want to buy it. Yum yum.


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