When asked to describe their sound the Hertfordshire based My Little Empire may appear flippant; the question answered with a simple response: “Gritpop”. Whether to read an attitude of exhaustion in regard to classifying their sound – indeed every new band these days is seemingly required to place themselves neatly into an existing genre – is largely down to personal preference, yet what the response does offer is a reasonably accurate indication of their music.
Releasing Bound To Nowhere back in early 2012, My Little Empire absorb various aspects of mainstream rock and indie, retaining the overall sheen which has propelled bands of a similar ilk into the mainstream. The pop elements are obvious, be it the absorbing melodies or the hooks hell-bent on generating a stadium rock appeal. The grittier moments are in part thanks to a DIY production, and DIY attitude. “The next album will probably be slightly harder and darker, but we can only do ‘us’… My Little Empire will always be My Little Empire,” remark the band when asked about conscious nods to established stadium rock bands. The band have the formulated sound to satisfy larger audiences, but if they get big it will be on their own terms.
Even choices such as working with Thomas Mitchener of Pure Love fame on their forthcoming single ‘Solitude’ are guided by the bands personal situation. “Working with Mitch wasn’t a conscious decision with regards to getting a sound or jumping on the back of his recent success,” claim the band. “He’s very much a good friend of ours. He has recorded every demo single, our album and anything you have heard from us… I think our new single sounds focused and sounds like a band.” They go on to congratulate Thomas ‘Mitch’ Mitchener on his recent success with the aforementioned Pure Love. There is certainly no bravado on display, and no notion that My Little Empire are hanging onto other’s success.
If anything, working with Mitchener demonstrates their loyalty to a home-grown scene and a dedication to maintain creative control. In some ways this is a luxury only afforded to bands at this level – a level which My Little Empire rightly find unsettled. “…The industry at the moment is definitely a rollercoaster and we have been high and low, dry and wet within the blink of an eye. We have had nights like headlining a sold out O2 Islington [Academy] to then playing on a Tuesday night to a soundman.” It appears that the band are on the cusp of success, waiting for the one catalyst in 2013 that can push them towards glory.
Their unaltered DIY attitude has brought them this far, and with ‘Solitude’ ready to drop only time will tell whether My Little Empire can breach into and survive the big leagues. That said, the band are aware of the delicacy of their current situation; “[2013 will] really depend on the public and the response we get. So far we have had strong feedback on the single and our album got a lot of heat. As long as people keep turning up at shows then [we’ll] keep the heat up.” With that, 2013 could prove a big year for the Hertfordshire four-piece and may well see them teeter towards the mainstream – however as the band are well aware, this is entirely dependent on the unpredictable audiences.
My Little Empire release ‘Solitude’ on the 14th January. The track can be heard below: