It may seem as though Empire Circus have sprung out of nowhere but in reality, they have already enjoyed a seven-year stint touring and recording together in the US before returning to Ireland in 2008 to open the Pure Music school. Since 2012 they have been working on new material; their EP is a taster of what they have created.
The band’s time in the US has clearly affected their songwriting as the material on their self titled EP is doused with elements of mainstream American pop rock, think early Maroon 5 or Young The Giant. There Is A Light is a strong introduction to the EP, and indeed the band. It is an uptempo alt-pop track with a hint of electro and ballad tinged piano. Its chorus of “There is a light and it’s breaking through the darkness” is instantly infectious and perfect for radio waves.
All I Need follows, taking a step away from the electro feel and delivering an atmospheric guitar intro and love struck lyrics. Once again the chorus delivers the radio friendly knockout blow; it’s instantly catchy and merits a sing-a-long. All I Need is definitely worthy of becoming a single and with its generic yet tight-knit pop rock sound there is no reason you won’t be hearing it on radio soon.
It takes a special song to immediately enchant a listener and True Believer pulls out all the stops, leaving the listener with a sweet taste in their mouth. As the title suggests it’s a song about hope, with simple but positive lyrics “Smiling like a child/I’m not flying but I’m hoping.”adding to the radio-friendly sheenn of the track.
Empire Circus’s début EP strikes a nice balance between shamelessly conventional funky pop and alternative leaning rock. What is presented here is intriguing enough to make the prospect of the band’s debut album in September most welcome. Empire Circus could potentially carve out a nice little niche for themselves in the Irish music industry.