"Empty Skies" is the latest track to debut from the upcoming full-length album, titled As a Creature of Temperature. Check it out below in this Cellar Door Music Group exclusive first listen.
Breathy, thoughtfully layered vocals mirror soft piano open the track as arpeggiated guitar picking adds a woodsy undercurrent to an otherwise soft, cloudy expanse of songwriting. The simple melody channeled through vocal octaves and harmonies recalls the subtleties of new age music or classical pieces for church choir.
This evolves at about the two-minute mark, though, as a shamisen-like instrumental performance carries the song into a higher stratum. Here, a bolder arrangement uses strings to fill the atmosphere to the brim and percussion to channel a sensation of forward movement. Vocals again are expertly arranged, even as lyrical and nonlyrical parts are lain across one another.
As with many of Kauri's musings, the lyrics are fairly abstract but poetic. "Empty Skies" sets inner thoughts against bare nature imagery. Key lines "It's not all that it seems clearly" and "If it's me you're looking for, I've long gone by / I've seen once into the empty skies" paint a mindset of disillusionment. Rather than sulk in it, however, Kauri is inclined to carry on toward a better truth. The momentum of the music goes a long way in reflecting this as the song's central refrain repeats in determination.
On "Empty Skies", Kauri manages to create music that is spacious yet rich in arrangement, distant but still somehow able to creep under the skin. Although there is a certain chill to "Empty Skies", it's one that pairs well with a warm blanket or fire-heated cabin. It's an interesting balance that doesn't always carry to other songs to date from the band, but for this one elevated span of five minutes, it's an intoxicating experience that holds much promise for the upcoming debut album.
Preorders for vinyl and CD are available now at the official Kauri website.