Song Premiere: Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), 'A Keepsake'
If emo has cheerleaders, they're Keith and Cathy Latinen. Since 2007, the Michigan-based husband and wife have tirelessly run the Count Your Lucky Stars label during a time when the genre didn't have many vocal supporters. Many of its releases have inspired bands in the now-thriving young scene to take up the '90s Midwest emo sound and do what they will.
The Latinens are also behind the complicatedly named Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate), which has released EPs and split seven-inches with the likes of Dikembe, Modern Baseball, and Football, Etc. The band's last full-length album dates back to 2009, making the forthcoming You Will Eventually Be Forgotten worth the long wait. The lilting "A Keepsake" gets a premiere here, with a guest verse sung by Braid's Bob Nanna.
A straightforward storyteller, Keith Latinen works in details and similes, not abstraction and metaphor. It's part of what makes Nanna's verse so charming, as he smiles at a canoe trip's memory without being smothered by it:
We split up in two canoes
I imagined us as Lewis and Clark
charting acres of unspoiled land
as the Mainstee opened up like a canvas