Outside Spectrum
Photo: Sarah Elizabeth Larson

Album Premiere: The Empty Pockets Release ‘Outside Spectrum’

Chicago-based indie-rock/blues rock quartet The Empty Pockets introduces their new album, Outside Spectrum.

The Empty Pockets achieved national attention in 2015, releasing The Ten Cent Tour, which hit the tenth spot on Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums chart and took the ninth slot on Heatseekers. In 2016, The Empty Pockets served as the backing band for Al Stewart, Gary Wright, and Simon Kirke, duetting with Kenny Loggins on PBS’s Soundstage, and sharing the stage with George Lopez and Portugal. The Man.

They followed by dropping four Billboard charting albums, including Voices, Snow Day, Tanglewoods, and Live in Seattle.

Fronted by Erika Brett on vocals and Josh Solomon on guitar, The Empty Pockets’ sound is stripped of technological manipulation, offering unalloyed music.

Encompassing 11-tracks, Outside Spectrum begins with the title track, opening on gritty blues tones topped by the luscious, powerhouse voice of Erika, who imbues the lyrics with sultry potency. A dazzling display of guitar prowess gives the tune sizzling, sleazy licks.

Entry points include the “Heart of Ash,” a slinky, blues-flavored song tinted with hints of Spanish savors. Swaying and oozing on sensual textures, there’s a dark edge to the harmonics, infusing the tune with risky energy.

Dripping with exotic, sensuous aromas, “Tense Car Tab Confrontation,” travels on voluptuous layers of sound as Brett’s plush vocals give the lyrics tinctures of danger. Listen closely to the finessed drums on this track.

Brimming with bluesy jazz essence, “That Gun” slides along sophisticated washes of coloration. While “Mrs. Sacramento” rolls out on the amazing guitar work of Laurence Juber, formerly of Wings. A tasty blues rock rhythm and fat bassline provide the perfect matrix for Juber’s spectacular guitar.

Outside Spectrum is grand, pushing out innovative, alluring amalgamations of folk-rock, blues rock, and tangs of scrumptious soul.

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.