Right now is a really exciting time for pop and rock music in New Orleans and Empress Hotel is a prime example. The group comprised of six young yet seasoned musicians is an offshoot from other bands that came before it, fellow forgers of an indie movement in the Jazz capital of the world.
Brothers Ryan and Eric Rogers on guitar and drums as well as Leo DeJesus on precussion/synth/vocals come from popular bands on the younger generation’s radar in New Orleans, like Antenna Inn and The City Life among others, and lead singer/guitarist Micah McKee founded local favorite Silent Cinema in 2002 which can be held responsible for other spinoff bands from its members, like Big History – a sexy new electronic emphasized band. The main point being, anything coming from this group of guys (and girls: Julie Williams plays keys and sings for Empress Hotel) which also includes Portland transplant Patrick Hodgkins on bass is going to be good.
“Bells Ring” is their recently released single to be included on the self-titled debut EP slated to drop in March on Park the Van Records. Whether it’s the shrill Cassio keys, the doo-woppy back up vocals or the lyrical imagery of not letting it (life?) pass by, the track instills a sense of nostalgia and envy all for an older era, childhood and even pastimes never experienced.
The drawn out, robust lead vocals that harkens The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser, the steady, momentous drums and the bells that ring through the chorus also give the song a triumphant slant.
And don’t overlook “Here Comes the New Challenger” which can be found on the band’s Myspace page. The song is utterly cool with a Who-esque synth intro, inebriating lyrics and McKee and Williams’ vocal harmonies that are beyond charming.
Empress Hotel On Tour:
Dec 18 – Park the Van Holiday Soirée at HiHo Lounge – New Orleans, LA
Dec 31 – OpenHouse Music Presents: NYE, The Throwdown (Studio 3 Warehouse) – New Orleans, LA
Jan 21 – The BottleTree – Birmingham, AL
Jan 27 – Lola’s Saloon – Fort Worth, TX
Jan 28 – Ghost Room – Austin, TX
Jan 29 – Artmosphere – Lafayette, LA
Feb 19 – Blue Nile (Krewe du Vieux) w/ Big History and Booty Trove – New Orleans, LA
Feb 22 – 5 Spot – Nashville, TN
Feb 23 – Tea Bazaar – Charlottesville, VA
Feb 25 – Rock Shop – Brooklyn, NY
Mar 2 – Iota Club and Cafe – Arlington, VA (DC Area)
Mar 5 – Alabama Music Box – Mobile, AL
Mar – SXSW 2011 – Austin, TX