By Jordan Mooney.
With thanks to Kel for her patience!
There are many ‘hot spots’ for music in the UK, and one of the most historically significant and increasingly vibrant is Manchester – the city’s musical geography is almost impossible to classify; but we like to think a lot of it can be represented by The Empty Page…
Effortlessly cool, and carrying a natural spectrum of rebellion, their debut album, Unfolding runs at its own pace, pushing the establishment over with poeticisms rather than overt anger or aggression. It feels rather like a group of punks running through a meadow, occasionally stopping to stamp on a particularly unlucky dandelion with their tatty Doc Martens. There’s less interest in truly hurting the world surrounding; more interest in becoming part of that little, private ecosystem – whether it be a meadow or a knackered old block of flats in Moss Side.
The boundaries of it all are fuzzy, unclear, but float along so gracefully and with such a fascinating pattern that it’s difficult to resist exploring them, hopping over or sliding under what encircles it to see what’s within. It isn’t immediately the most inviting music, but you won’t be able to keep your eyes off of it. Oh yes, watching Giz, Jim and Kel may well be a spectator sport, but it doesn’t feel any less involving.
There’s a lot of bass-fuelled riffery, the odd bit of shouting, but it doesn’t seem interested in the idea of being rough or dark hearted; it’s to form a spectacle; give a clearer message. Kel at highest volume reminds me of Tank from our chums at Chasing Dragons – throaty, powerful, sultry – a woman scorned; who slides back into an angelic tone at the drop of a hat. A showcase of very powerful and fiercely independent vocal talent.
There is a little bit of pop there; a few dashes of indie. A splash of grunge, a few shots of punk, and a bit of salt on the rim – it makes a truly fabulous cocktail that’s as beautiful to admire as it is to watch being made. I doubt it’ll be for everybody’s tastes, but there’s an enormous spectrum of people who I think could appreciate this wee gem of a record.
Above all else, the record feels incredibly passionate, compassionate, caring and creative – it’s made with admiration – not admiration towards certain artists, but what said artists can say with their work; Unfolding is a voice, a very caring voice with an arm around those who may feel disaffected or disillusioned. Although at first listen, Kel may seem cold, it soon becomes very obvious that couldn’t be further from the truth; The Empty Page are simply looking at a bigger picture, all too willing to embrace – but waiting for those to weather the storm to its destination, wherever that may be.
Personally, I’d say it’s to sell out tours…
Unfolding is releasing on October the 21st.The record was a Pledgemusic campaign that made a whopping 185% of its goal (hurray!) – 10% of every donation following the 100% mark is going to the wonderful Booth Centre in Manchester – and can offer you access to exclusive updates and videos, tickets to release gigs, guitar lessons, rehearsal room visits, preorders for physical copies, shirts… take a gander!