Empath's 'Polyfoam' Turns Field Recordings Into Hazy Noise-Pop : All Songs Considered "Polyfoam" starts as a dreamy, jangly pop song, then dives into a sonic abyss.
NPR logo Empath's 'Polyfoam' Turns Field Recordings Into Hazy Noise-Pop

Empath's 'Polyfoam' Turns Field Recordings Into Hazy Noise-Pop

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For a pair of new songs, Empath takes the calming sounds of nature and turns it into experimental noise-rock. The Environments 7-inch interprets moods from Irv Teibel's Environments, a series of albums released from 1969-79 that feature field recordings (in cornfields and meadows) and synthetic waves to mimic the ocean, but keep intact their unpolished sonic signature.

Featuring members who have played in Perfect Pussy and with Allison Crutchfield, Empath offers "Polyfoam" as an interpretation of wind. The track starts with the familiar coo of a mourning dove and transcends into a dreamy, jangly pop song that sounds like the pink and purple haze the band dances lazily through in its video.

The pop label falls off in the last two minutes of the six-minute song when it dives into an abyss of rushing wind and a clarinet's animal-like squawking that makes you feel like you've landed among the unfamiliar inhabitants of another planet.


Environments comes out June 15 via Get Better Records. Empath starts a U.S. tour June 16.