Heavy bass thumps behind each word like a heartbeat —
“Mama what’s the reason I feel empty?
I might pop another please don’t tempt me.”
So warns our singer, his voice betraying the very emptiness he asserts.
At moments the pace shifts as layers of music — the heavy beat and shuddering electronic ornamentation — are stripped away for lonesome, downward-lilting notes that echo without the accompaniment. Our singer repeats the chorus but his voice — now obscured by autotune — rises with emotion, as if the sparsity of the music has allowed him to fully unleash his desperation.
Chase Atlantic’s new single Empty is studded with references to drugs, money, a breakup and other shifting relationships — the full combination of which has left our narrator despondent. Though the song starts with a description of three different pills and their effects, it is comparatively less about drug use than their other recent singles (Molly and Out the Roof), and, in this writer’s opinion, more emotionally vulnerable. In Empty the trio slows down the tempo and turns our focus to the instrumentality of their voices in order to delve into a darker psychological state, all the while keeping us suspended within a synth-heavy electro-pop soundscape.
Cover art for Chase Atlantic's Feb. 19 single, EMPTY
Cover art for Chase Atlantic's March 5 album, BEAUTY IN DEATH
The lyrics are minimal, with enough variation in music and rhymework to diversely pull the weight of the message. In the pre-chorus, our singer uses just a few syllables to deride the material nature of his accomplishments, and contrast them with the absence of something much larger:
“I feel empty
New house, new car
I feel empty
You win, gold star
I feel empty
No lungs, no heart”
CHASE ATLANTIC Explores Despondency and Drug Use Through an Electro Pop Lens
Though the lyrics decry his dark mental state, the song is not totally somber, in this writer’s opinion. It has a compelling beat that oozes like liquid, pulsing energy and emphasis into the words. Thin, skittering taps play off the heft and further electrify the texture, while autotune blends our singer’s voice into a breathy, automated slur.
This song is easily recommended for fans of dark, alternative pop with a heavy electronic edge. But if that’s not your usual genre, give it a try anyway — you might otherwise be impressed by the poetry of the lyrics. (Check out how they rhyme "48 hours" with "euphoria now".)
Those who enjoy the sweet-and-sour combo of a dance-worthy beat with angst-ridden lyrics should look no further. This song is for you.
CHASE ATLANTIC GROUP MEMBERS:
Click here to watch the lyric video for Empty.
Images courtesy of Fearless Records
About the Author: Lily LeaVesseur
Lily LeaVesseur has harbored a fondness for the arts since she was a few months old, when her parents took her on her first of many stroller rides through the halls of the Art Institute of Chicago. Even after moving to San Diego as a child, she returned many times so that she could stare down her favorite pieces, combing them over again and again for clues to their greatness.
She carried this enthusiasm like a missionary, and in high school petitioned to re-open the single Art History course on the roster so that she could study it with her friends. She loved feeling like she could unlock some sort of intangible mystery behind works of art, and looking for herself within the artists that created them.
Since then Lily has continued to explore art both analytically and creatively. She now writes poetry and non-fiction, sometimes accompanied by illustrations or watercolor, and hopes to one day collect these works into a graphic novel. When she's not writing or drawing, she can otherwise be found skating with friends, experimenting with new food combinations, and/or lying on the floor contemplating the transcendental nature of TikTok.