Molly.’s Empire comes out swinging, piano first, paired with a slightly undefinable echo – displaying the track’s depth and sincerity immediately. The encompassing triads of the piano simplify and leave just enough space for Molly.’s voice to take centre stage, the gaps between the words filled with fading delays of the instrumentation; melting together into an underlying bed of texture.
Cue percussive synth leads, rich, noisy snare hits, and subtle embellishments from the piano, all collaborating with the soul-filled vocals to build tension and a strong sense of progression. As the pre-chorus reaches its peak, all instrumentation is suddenly stripped away leaving only the words calling out ‘The best things in life are free..’ before emphatically launching into the chorus, and the crux of the piece’s message.
‘This is all we’ve got…’ Molly. exclaims, reinforced by churning hi-hats – permeating a bed of mellow synth tones. The bass kicks and pushes rhythmically at the pulsing echoes filling the stereo field, dedicatedly cutting through the mix to push the work onwards.
The Zara Larsson-like vocal delivery presses on. Forming dynamic sweeps and arcs over the rolling piano performance. Lyrically, Molly. employs ‘Empire’ to tell the narrative of a boy unaffected by the woes of material gain and dependency, becoming a modern man in the modern machine, ‘…a prisoner in his life of luxury…’.
‘Empire’ is a parable, putting a lens on the modern culture of materialism and superficial gain. Perhaps it’s message is a bitter reality, but coated in a sweet and easily digestible pop hit, it’s a message we can enjoy hearing, and take note of while singing along.
Already cherished by BBC Introducing Lancashire and Amazing Radio, Molly. cleverly highlights all-too-poignant facts about modern society on ‘Empire’, furthering her achievements with previous track and looking towards a continuing rise for the Lancashire-born artist.
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