Pretty Little Empire Strikes Back

This Saturday at Off Broadway, Pretty Little Empire releases their third full-length album with support from Last to Show First to Go and The Union Electric. It’s a fine piece of work, with PLE effectively transferring the energy and passion of their stage show to record.

Photo by Jess Luther. 

“We started recording around January 2012 at Native Sound Studio with David Beeman. We did sort of a trial run and after that was really successful, we went ahead and asked David to produce, record, and act as sound engineer for the album. He played on the album and helped shaped it. Beeman had a pretty large creative hand in the project,” says Justin Johnson of PLE. Between songwriters Will Godfred, Evan O’Neal, and Johnson, the band had a bushel of twenty or so songs they demoed out. Then they chose to build out a group of tracks that would fit together in a meaningful way.

And Johnson is quick to emphasize the vital contributions of band mate Godfred throughout the recording process. “He’s the reason that any Pretty Little Empire album gets done. He’s the energy and the life force of the band, and worked with Beeman every step of the way as far as mixing and producing. That’s something that always goes unmentioned. It’s kind of a thankless job, those people who are there being dedicated and making sure we’re putting out something lasting and something good.”

This self-titled Pretty Little Empire album is being released on Extension Chord Records, a local collective headed by The Union Electric’s Tim Rakel and Melinda Cooper. I asked Johnson about the band’s decision to join up with the label this time around. “We’ve tried [releasing work] on our own, not to great success. Glenn Burleigh [band mate of Rakel and Cooper in UE] had a good amount of success reaching out to radio stations and blogs on behalf of his own band, so we were excited to learn from the Extension Chord folks in that way…I also feel like we’re sometimes the lonely band in the St. Louis community. Because we haven’t played in so long, we’ve missed out on all that unity that bands have been experiencing as of late. Beyond that, Melinda, Tim, and Glenn are just great musicians that I very much respect, so joining a collective of sorts with them could only be a good thing.”

The main wish he has for this album, Johnson said, is to get it into the hands and ears of as many fans as possible. To that end, the band was gracious enough to provide IWTAS with an exclusive stream of the record before you buy it at Saturday’s release. I think you’ll like what you hear:

Sweetening the pot even more, PLE is offering up TWO pairs of tickets to the release show for I Went to a Show readers. To win, leave us a comment below with your favorite song from the record streaming above. Bonus consideration will be provided to those who give a reason behind their favorite track choice; based on what we’ve heard, there will be no wrong answers! The contest closes at noon on Saturday – leave us a good email address when prompted because that’s how we’ll reach you. Good luck!

Event details for Saturday night here.

ple poster

Comments (7)

  1. Daver Harper says:

    I’ve been listening to these guys perform these songs above my laundry mat for a couple months now and am happy they got the album out. I’ll will pick Never Had A Chance as one of my favorites on the album, but the whole thing is good.

  2. Mary says:

    I am really loving “Stand Still.” It makes me want to take a long, rolling drive on a cloudy day. Beautiful.

  3. Rachael says:

    I like stand still. Whenever the day is feeling a little overwhelming, it helps me get right back to that sweet calm spot!

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