Electric Empire









ELECTRIC EMPIRE

Formed in early 2009 in Melbourne, Electric Empire is the collaboration of accomplished musicians Aaron Mendoza, Denis Dowlut and Jason Heerah. Influenced by the raw sounds of the 60’s and 70’s RnB and Soul music revolution, their self-titled debut album exudes organic and soulful melodies reminiscent of the classics of Al Green, Stevie Wonder or Curtis Mayfield.

They say Soul is from the heart, sung from the heart and written from the heart. For the new year, they are going to keep writing, being creative and keeping true to their style of music. They are also thinking overseas markets such as London and America. They love Europe which is very open to bands doing experimental niche music.

Electric Empire recently played at Glastonbury in the UK to rave reviews.

 

LATEST REVIEWS FROM Mojo & Q, January editions 2012

EE Mojo Jan. issue
Electric Empire
RED DISC

Retro-soul wizardry from Oz

Led by singer/drummer Jason Heerah – whose plaintive, melismatic vocals reflect the influence of ‘70s soul avatars Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway – this talented antipodean trio have created an eponymous debut that blends arresting vocal performances with strong songs and an organic production sound. The group recently supported Mayer Hawthorne and Beverley Knight but it won’t be long before they’re headlining themselves, such is the quality of this set.. There’s an understated beauty to this album, which is epitomized by the slow-burning opener, Baby Your Lovin’. With its rolling gait and bittersweet falsetto vocal, it reverberates like a lost Al Green track circa 1972. Though the group’s recreation of a ‘70s soul vibe is pitch-perfect, the music never descends into pastiche – it’s more substantial than that, putting a fresh 21st-century twist on classic soul elements. Charles Waring



Electric Empire with Rod Temperton (Rod wrote Thriller, Off The Wall and Rock with You for Michael Jackson)


Q50 Jan issue
21. BABY YOUR LOVIN
ELECTRIC EMPIRE

Australian trio in lové with Rev Al Green step straight off the soul train. Thankfully, they have the chops to make this a classy groove rather than pastiche
ON: ELECTRIC EMPIRE, RED DISC LP

 


REVIEWS FROM LONDON: JULY 2011

BLUES AND SOUL

New boys to the soul scene Electric Empire hail from Melbourne, their self-titled debut album is essential listening for the old school soul music buff as they clearly wear their influences firmly on their sleeves...

'Baby Your Loving' starts off promisingly and sounds like an outtake from Al Green/Willie Mitchell session. 'Have You Around' builds into a real barnstormer with explosive drums, Stevie Wonder clav and some choice fretwork and flowing horns. And talking about Stevie, 'Brother' sounds like the man himself from his classic self produced period, a little to eerie in it's likeness (be careful guys you're too good to a be a pastiche!)

However despite my reservations there's no hiding the first class songwriting talent Electric Empire have and their singing/vocal arrangements blend so well on record just listen to the fab 'Always.'

This is a real band who have different lead singers which gives them a double edge. The mark of a good soul band is how they tackle a ballad and 'Little Things' amply demonstrates this. This is soul alchemy that's going to shock the listener as to how good this band really are. Words Emrys Baird

 

ELECTRIC EMPIRE: WATER RATS LONDON 04/07/2011

The Water Rats, for those who don't know, is a respectfully sized establishment on Gray's End Road, in Central-ish London AND is but a well aimed stone's throw from Kings Cross Station - it was here on this sultry evening, that this unpretentious surrounding was to play host the best musical talent that OZ has produced in a fair while.

So, after PAYING £4 to get in (I did pay honest!), it was a short walk through the doors at the back of the bar and into the throng of fans who had turned up to witness this exciting outfit - as we joined, the party was in full swing already, with the crowd singing in verbatum with the band's choice of delicious musical starter. Second tune 'Then It's Over' enabled EE to start to turn the heat up in the proceedings, it was at this point that this night really took off! I remember thinking to myself how in-tune both band and audience were with each other and how both appeared to be up for a truly memorable night! ...and how right I was...

It was time to slow the pace a little with tune 3 as one of my favourite tracks 'Brother' from their self titled album (a hit if you release it guys) rang out. This immense track was given it's wings by the accomplished backing of rhythm guitarist Dennis Dowlet. And just as palatable was the band's glaring nod, via their music, to Stevie's '70s/Early '80s Motown sound - with not only this track but others which ensued.

As each member of the band would take their turn to sing lead this evening, it was keyboard/singer Aaron Mendoza who began to command proceedings with shall we say... Well, as Monty Python would put it... "And now for something different!" And different it was as keyboard supremo, sorry extraordinaire, sorry what's the next one up from that? Anyway, Mendoza had the inspired idea of slipping something long and black into his mouth and trying to sing while it was still in there!?! …Yeah, you got it, it was a talk-box! How the Shelia's Wheels did you know that?! Tune of choice, and personally I have heard it covered to death of late, Adele's 'Rolling In The Deep." But boy, you haven't heard it like this! And man did the crowd, including me, absolutely love every last drop of this electrifying performance - complete with his skat-tastic keyboard ending! Aaron you da man dude!!

Where could you possibly go after that you ask? Well how about their current cut, 'Baby You're Lovin.'' This ultra cool track was delivered with the precision of a Swiss watch as the lead vocal baton was transferred to the very capable drumming hands of Jason Heerah. You could see why he is currently rated as one of Australia's premier drummers, with the added bonus of a deeply soulful voice to match. It kinda makes you think which came first with Jason - The Chicken OR the egg… Or should I say, the drumming OR the singing!

To round these words of admiration up for this amazing band I can't go without a repeat mention for Heerah's drumming skills as a 'Funky Drummer' solo (which almost looked improvised as to it's timing) threatened to steal the show! All I can say is, those sticks were talking pure unadulterated funk that night!! I also remember thinking, I don't know why, I hope he throws his drum sticks out at the end (he was that good!) - the room isn't that big and I could probably have most of my competition!

All in all, it was a great concert from a superb band who have gone back to the future to mix the sounds of yesterday with the vibe of tomorrow and thus creating the most memorable of shows! Words LEE TYLER

 

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