Myles Rodenhouse’s great uncle once jumped out of a plane over Nazi-occupied territory. Earthquake Lights’ newest single, “Empty Sky,” feels like that—not the Nazi part, the jumping out of a plane part. Myles, the lead singer and composer for Earthquake Lights, has aviation in his blood; his dad is in the aviation industry. One of his best friends and the orchestrator for “Empty Sky,” Mitch McCarthy is a pilot himself. Mitch and Myles spent hours in the air over the last year, including a winter excursion over the Finger Lakes in which Mitch purposefully stalled out the plane to show Myles its limitations.
“Someday you’ll know the feeling like me.” That last line of the song encompasses what the song is about—that feeling of hesitancy before the drop, the momentary weightlessness in midair. “Empty Sky” has a slightly more upbeat groove to it than some of Earthquake Lights’ older material, including their beautiful Distress Signals LP. Perhaps the placement of their latest track, “Off and Away,” as the last song on Vulfpeck’s The Joy of Music, The Job of Real Estate album has rubbed off on them. The pulsating rhythm and playful bass line create a visceral buoyancy to the track.
“Empty Sky” is the first single off of Earthquake Lights’ forthcoming full-length album. If the upbeat tempo and their continued use of brilliant orchestration is any indication of what is to come, then we can expect more beautiful music from the group soon.
“Empty Sky” is due out on August 20, 2021.