Laura Gibson – Empire Builder

  • September 19, 2016

Empire Builder is Laura Gibson’s first album since 2012’s La Grande, and it was created in the aftermath of an unfortunate accident. A year ago, the New York building in which Gibson lived had a gas explosion that killed two neighbors and consequently destroyed most of her possessions, notebooks and musical instruments. The album’s title is a nod to the train line that transported Gibson cross-country from Portland to her new home in summer 2014. Between the move from her native Oregon and the disaster that ensued in NY, Empire Builder takes on themes of transition and change. Gibson and co-producer John Askew retain an intimate feel throughout the album while introducing some subtle new flourishes such as: the Bollywood strings on “The Search for Dark Lake”; the subdued background vocals of “Two Kids”; the crescendo of feedback on the title track. On the other hand, tracks like “Damn Sure” and “Two Kids” are deceptively simple, but there’s a depth that rewards repeated listens. This long awaited album is well worth the wait; Empire Builder is another gorgeous album added to Gibson’s catalog. – Written by JFelton



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