Living in the Age of Empires

Equal parts Bruce Springsteen and Morrissey, Chicago’s Empires are bringing their slick arena-ready rock to a larger audience. In the last few years they’ve played Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, supported bands like Kaiser Chiefs, and went into the studio with one of indie rock’s hottest producers for their highly anticipated third album, Orphans. I think these guys might be onto something…


They really started to pick up steam with 2012′s Garage Hymns, an album Consequence of Sound compared to “The Gaslight Anthem and The Killers in their best moments.” Recorded in under two weeks, the band tried to stay focused and go with their gut instincts, rather than overthinking things. The end result is some of the best anthemic rock this side of Born to Run.

Even though they’re currently zig-zagging all over the country with The Chain Gang of 1974, the band is still focused on their new releases. They just dropped the How Good Does It Feel EP a few days ago, offering a sneak peak of what we can expect from their new album. Produced by John Congleton, who has worked with St. Vincent and The Mountain Goats, the new material is their most cohesive, accomplished work yet.


“How Good Does It Feel” was picked as one of GQ‘s “25 Essential Songs of Summer”, but that might be an understatement. With their new EP, an upcoming album, and a stop at LouFest in their sights, it’s starting to look like Empires is on track to rule this whole year.