Empath | photo by Marie Lin | courtesy of the artist
Empath dives into the fog of memory in new single “Passing Stranger”
West Philly indie-psych four-piece Empath releases their second full-length record, Visitor, next month on Fat Possum Records, and their new single “Passing Stranger” ventures into heady territory while eschewing the darkness; frontperson Catherine Elicson says it’s “One of the slowest songs we’ve ever written without an abrasive moment. We finally got to do a fade out.”
“Passing Stranger” opens on an atmospheric phase-shifty guitar part a la Catherine Wheel and slams into a chiming lead and fervent drum rhythm. Its lyrics circle around innocence and nostalgia, sensations of being young and driving aimlessly while listing to music. Elicson says it was written by collaging together memories.
“This time I pieced together different memories from my childhood, some idyllic, some difficult, but as if it were a story about someone else returning to their hometown,” she says. The video, which you can watch below, was shot by the band at home, using candles that drummer Garrett Koloski ordered online, along with colorful lights and various props lying around.