“Water water is a privilege / just like kids who go to college,” sings Empress Of, right as the techno really hits its stride. It’s not a typical pop hook but Empress Of isn’t a typical pop star.
Lorely Rodriguez is back with the first Empress Of material since 2013’s captivating “Realize You”, and it’s everything we’ve been waiting for. “Water Water”, which Rodriguez wrote on New Year’s Eve on a lake in Valle de Bravo in Mexico, keeps up the formative elements of other Empress Of songs—clear vocals mixed up front, undeniable pop sensibilities confidently pulled in unexpected directions, breathy vocal patterns used as rhythmic elements. But while songs like “Hat Trick” and “Tristeza” used electronica sparsely, “Water Water” lets loose with full on club-ready techno. While it’s a little strange to hear beachside ego loss music coupled with intelligent lyrics (sans vocal processing no less!), it’s cathartic and a little nostalgic and mostly very fun.
“Water Water” will be on Empress Of’s debut record, which she produced and wrote entirely herself, out this summer on Terrible Records.