Empath | via empath.bandcamp.com

DIY-scene queer punk faves Empath recently released a two-track single Environments on local label Get Better Records, with a music video to go with the opening song. “Polyfoam” finds the band dancing in a basement, awash in saturated, saccharine and surreal hues of pink, orange and yellow.

The new 7″ is inspired by the field recordings of American photographer Irv Teibel created in the 1960’s and 70’s, as the songs “dissolve into experimental sound.” The tracks are a far cry from Empath’s last album, Liberating Guilt And Fear, released via Get Better Records, a distorted paroxysm of noise pop. They’ve traded furious kitchen-pot-banging for something gentler and meditative.

“Polyfoam” begins in their familiar starry, lo-fi style before disintegrating into what sounds like a vacuum sucking the air from a room, followed by arcade-game pings and an eerie, trailing saxophone riff. This track is meant to represent the element of wind, while “Only One” represents water. Mirroring the structure of the first song, the punky track dissolves into spacey, Astro Shooter sound effects and the lulling sound of ocean waves.

Interestingly, neither song is the A-side or B-side. The limited edition 7″ that will accompany the band on tour this year is randomly stamped, “so the perception of what is the “a side” and what is the “b-side” will vary from record to record.”

Empath is playing First Unitarian Church on October 10th; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.