EMPTY COUNTRY – ” Empty Country ” Joseph D’Agostino (Cymbals Eat Guitars)

Posted: April 9, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

This album is nothing less than transcendently beautiful. The heart and soul of everything that made me fall in love with Cymbals Eat Guitars now lives on in the form of Empty Country with new twists and complexities that make EC it’s own clearly unique entity as well. A great transitional document for Joseph D’Agostino as he moves on from Cymbals Eat Guitars (still sad they are over). This album is great in that it’s not a huge departure , yet it is still distinctly D’Agostino’s own thing. It’s got the great melodies and catchy hooks of Cymbals Eat Guitars with that characteristic melancholy. But with more acoustic guitar, Empty Country sounds more personal.

Up there with Joe’s best work, it feels like it pulls from every record he’s done before while still being completely distinct from any Cymbals record in the way it combines the psychedelia and accessibility with some of the lushest, most ornately arranged music I’ve heard. Plus the guitars still rock, the solos fucking slap, and the ballads somehow slap just as hard. The narrative based lyrics also hit a sweet spot in Joe’s lyricism — direct but inventive, descriptive and endlessly compelling.


Empty Country is the first album from Joseph D’Agostino since the dissolution of his other project, Cymbals Eat Guitars, one of the most perennially underappreciated indie-rock bands in recent memory. The album lets D’Agostino’s unique song writing and raspy voice take center stage: The gorgeous “Marion,” for instance, weaves a multigenerational epic through its spacious, slightly shambling indie rock, while “Ultrasound” finds D’Agostino yelping atop a thick wall of guitars and distortion. One of the most straightforward songs on the album is “Becca,” a seemingly jovial acoustic character sketch that tells the somewhat disturbing story of a woman selling fraudulent eclipse glasses to unsuspecting tourists. Empty Country thrives in its simplicity relative to the last few Cymbals albums, getting back to the heart of what makes D’Agostino such a compelling artist.

released March 20th, 2020
Music and lyrics by Joseph D’Agostino

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