Camelia Brennan

Empress Of: Me

The first time I saw Empress Of was in the summer of 2016, at Pitchfork Music Festival. It was one of those perfect festival shows where you’re packed into an insanely crowded space, but inebriated enough to not be annoyed by it, and simultaneously blown away by a breathtaking performance. Lorely Rodriguez commanded the room with her infectious electro pop music. Her signature hair twirled back and forth, as she danced with her head down — busy, attentive — while the entire room danced in unison, hypnotized.

I was fortunate to have a dear friend and former colleague, David, who introduced me to Empress Of. He was kind enough to curate much of what we listened to at work for a few years, due to my chronic indecisiveness. This was something I likely took for granted, but like so many things nowadays, miss terribly. He has wonderful taste in music, a sincere interest and a vast knowledge about music history and obscure genres. He was, without a doubt, the best person anyone could ask to be in charge of the stereo.

Empress Of’s debut album Me is a stunning mixture of beautiful pop vocals and up tempo beats — all drenched in a Rodriguez’ self-produced sound, now easily identified as unique to her. Released in 2015 on Terrible Records, Me is an instant classic for both pop fans and electronic music fans alike.