Empire is GRMLN’s album for the cruis’n world: Upbeat rock ‘n’ roll with the feel of ’90s pop-punk. The new tracks are much more rock-driven than Explore‘s gentle, dreamy tunes. Wanting to capture the sound of a live band, Yoodoo Park – the born in-Japan Southern Californian behind GRMLN – recorded the album with his brother Tae San Park on bass and friend Keith Frerichs on drums. Check out the roaring first single, “Teenage Rhythm,” just below.

Album standout “Hand Pistol” is a catchy mix of polished-up Superchunk and poppier Jimmy Eat World. There’s “Cheer Up” with its ’50s-style chord progression and climactic, fiery plea of “Don’t break me down!” Empire‘s quietest number is the closer “Dear Fear,” an acoustic strummer about the damage time can do. The record’s energy and brevity translated to a concise recording process. The nine songs (all but two are under three minutes) were recorded and mixed in a span of five days at Different Fur Studios in San Francisco with Patrick Brown and Sean Paulson (Toro Y Moi’s Anything In Return).

Empire Track Listing:

01. Teenage Rhythm
02. Blue Lagoon
03. Hand Pistol
04. Coastal Love
05. Do You Know How It Feels?
06. Summer Days
07. 1993
08. Cheer Up
09. Dear Fear

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