Like La Luz on 'ludes: Australia-based trio Empat Lima add a slow shimmer to their signature surf-rock sound on their brand-new single "Don't Give It Away." It's like the sun has gone down on the beach party, and a chill has swept into the air. Vocalist Steph Brett sighs and swoons over a meditative bass line and brisk drums from bandmates Sooji Kim and Carla Ori. The single follows the release of "Climbing Clouds," a more erratic, quirky number that reverberates with the post-punk power of bands like Pylon. In contrast, the new single is a calming wave that you can float away on.
"The track has a sense of foreboding which may have come about from us each spending so much time alone and in transitory states of limbo," the band tell KEXP. "The lyrics really reflect this state of mind — an uncertainty about where we are at right now and feeling in a free fall of sorts."
While quarantining in their home of Melbourne, Empat Lima managed to capture this otherworldly track, despite restrictions. "The writing of the parts came together remotely, and as such have a kind of disparate synchronicity that is strange but works somehow," they explain. The track was recorded in late 2020 with Robin Waters and mixed by Anna Laverty. "We recorded one lucky weekend in a friends' tiny garage studio and did overdubs on our own in lockdown. We did things fairly quickly as we were feeling really lucky to have made it into the studio at all. In breaks, we stood outside and talked about which were our favourite herbs and what and how we use thyme, as it was growing abundantly in Robin's garden."
"Don't Give It Away" is a first listen at a new full-length, slated for release later this year. "It will be a mish mash of working together in whichever ways we could through this pandemic period — in lucky days at a studio together between lockdowns, writing and recording remotely with each other, and spontaneous improvisatory garage jam phone recordings. We are playing with putting this all on the album, as a testament to the year that was."
Meanwhile, Empat Lima are looking forward to getting back on stage, noting "a new understanding of the importance of performing and energy transference in live music."
"We really need to get some sparks out and start a few dance floor fires."
In this month's edition of In Our Headphones, KEXP's Digital Content team shares music by women artists that have been in their personal rotation lately.