‘Daydream’ by Empty Houses (Album)

21 June, 2016 in Music Reviews

Empty Houses. Pic: Rina Movsisyan

Empty Houses (left to right): David Mackinder, Ali Shea and Adam Mercer. Pic: Rina Movsisyan

This superb Detroit three-piece know how to extract all of the best bits of varying styles to create contemporary music

Empty Houses 'Daydream' album coverEmpty Houses comprises Ali Shea, Adam Mercer, and David Mackinder. The trio have managed to keep their remarkably emphatic, soulful pop sound an absolute secret, leaving almost no musical footprint online (except for one song), or on stage. Until now.

The band’s debut album is laden with piano and trumpets. They use this to create vastly vibrant compositions, using traditional song structures and choosing to avoid any of the latest production fads. This simple formula, combined with the lavish and delightfully soulful vocals of lead singer Ali Shea, has resulted in a contemporary pop sound that is both familiar and fresh.

Title track Daydream takes the old Motown model and successfully updates it, crossing generations – a theme that transcends through the album. Lost At Sea is one of the slower and more thoughtful tracks on the album, taking a doo-wop swing beat and turning it into a stunning ballad.

It’s hard to believe that a band could release such a flawless and mature album first time around, but that is exactly what Empty Houses have done. This is what chart-pop music should sound like.

Verdict: A timeless sound that is exciting and pure

Dave Chrzanowski