Empress Of “Standard”

Empress Of, real name Lorely Rodriguez, is no stranger to (The) Absolute. We’ve been quietly following her career since she dropped her debut EP in 2013 and have been keeping a close watch on her ever since.

In 2015, she finally releases her debut album, Me, a sprawling album with as much off-kilter jams as they are legit bops. “Standard,” one of the singles from the album, is a track that definitely leans more toward the latter. Because the song challenges the perceptions of body image, director Zaiba Jabbar decided to do some role reversal by casting a body builder to play opposite Lorely. In the video, he dangles her upside down while she eerily sings directly to the camera. It’s simple but powerful, and gets the point of across.

Out of all the singles she released this year, this is by far the strongest and shows her growth from “Brooklyn laptop artist” to a legit musical force a la Grimes or FKA Twigs. Aww, they grow up so fast.

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