“In A Breath” left me reeling. It’s beautiful and emotional and is one of the tracks where this pop-rock group let their rawness seep in. In other times polished-to-perfection “In A Breath” with its stripped-down music and gentle lyrics is a powerful track. It’s an album about second chances, love, break-ups and heartache. Masked in metaphors and what feel like old memories (that seem real, despite not being yours) the album is an emotional journey.
It’s an album that deftly steps around repetitions by increasing in intensity as it moves forward. “A Little Braver” and “Tale Of Jonah” have the illusion of feeling like there is physical space between the songs. As though you’ve moved from one place to another. It’s helped by the drop in pop on the tracks in between. New Empire walk a tightrope knowing that with one misstep they fall into what’s come before.
There are songs on here that could be radio hits. It’s radio-ready pop that uses every element they have at their disposal. But radio-ready, in this case, doesn’t carry that snobbery of pandering to an audience. It instead carries the weight of songs that’ll be in car anthems.
In A Breath is available via Tooth & Nail on April 29.
By Sebastian Mackay