According to a certain strain of astrology, the most important transitions in your life aren't the ones marked by birthday, retirement, or condolence cards. The Saturn Return marks the 29 years it takes for the ringed planet to orbit the sun, and every time it realigns with the point it occupied at your birth, you move between four defining life phases: from youth to adulthood, to maturity, to wisdom.
The first song to hear from the Bristolian quartet's long-awaited and indeed painstakingly named debut full-length Saturn Reruns is the aptly volatile 'Exploded View'. Premiered today exclusively on SPIN, who said "the track's seamless, chameleonic passages showcase a band that sounds like it's been jamming together for years", it's a fraying short fuse of a thing lit by incendiary rhythmic elements, claustrophobic existentialism inspired by "the fall" (a revolt against one's makers, not the grizzly post-punk Mancunian stalwarts) and showcases 23-year-old vocalist Leah Pritchard's incisive snarl.
Saturn Reruns injects a once ailing West Country music scene with boundless hope, epitomised in the glittery joie de vivre of 'Murals', or the unreservedly hypnotic 'Televised', which sounds like the sisters Deal's Last Splash bred with that distinctly carefree abandon of the now-voguish '90s into which it was first thrust. That was the decade in which Empty Pools endured their formative years, and consequently the time at which their singer first began to formalise her acutest of attentions to detail.
Ultimately, the name came from "around 50 stupid tweets, a few pub trips and an afternoon drinking beer in Ben's garden. All that time to realise we'd exhausted all our ideas and hadn't actually found anything we all agreed on." It's a neat juxtaposition of the critical and the jovial that mirrors the seriously contemplated influences to have formed the album in the first place (the initial classified ad posted by guitarist Ben and drummer Aaron listed the likes of Pylon, Marnie Stern, Talking Heads, Helium and Karate, attracting kindred spirits in bassist Matt, and Leah) and the at times ingenuous sonic fare it comprises.
EMPTY POOLS LIVE: (* = with Eleanor Friedberger)
29th August - Manchester, Night and Day*
31st August - Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's*
1st September - Glasgow, Broadcast*
2nd September - Newcastle, The Cluny*
3rd September - London, Bush Hall*
12th October - Bristol, Simple Things Festival
Empty Pools Saturn Reruns tracklisting
2. Vanderbilt Cup
3. Safety School
4. Holding Pattern
6. Small Talk
7. Slack Tide
8. Exploded View
10. Medium Wave
The singer was discovered dead on Thursday morning.
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