Empty Country is Joseph D’Agostino, the former leader of the great indie rock band Cymbals Eat Guitars. Back in March, D’Agostino released Empty Country’s self-titled debut album. He put the LP out on the day that Bandcamp waived its share of revenue from album sales. Today, Bandcamp is doing the same thing again; all proceeds from those sales are going directly to the artists. Once again, D’Agostino is taking advantage. He’s just released two new Empty Country songs, as well as a whole collection of demo versions of songs that appeared on the album.
The new two Empty Country songs are “Andi” and “10 Year.” The former is an absolute killer. On “Andi,” D’Agostino sings the entire track in third person, addressing a young trans woman who’s coming out to her family: “Your brother takes the Bolt Bus down/ He slips up with the wrong pronoun/ Your blood it boils/ You hate the sound.” It’s a soft, quiet sound, with D’Agostino singing over nothing but keyboard, and it’s beautiful.
“10 Year” is a more traditional indie rocker, and it’s all about trying to decide whether to return to a hometown and attend a high-school reunion. Both songs really show what a powerful songwriter D’Agostino is. Listen to both of them, as well as all those demos, below.
You can buy the new songs and the demos at Bandcamp.