Dean Brodrick began composing the music for Empty Boat's new album Waitless 14 years ago when he travelled through Africa playing music in small villages and townships. The inspiration for the lyrics were water and sanitation and the songs, partly in Portuguese, explore these pertinent themes.
The band members are as eclectic as the sounds they have produced. "They come from all different disciplines and have a taste for exotic and unlikely combinations" says Dean Brodrick the founder and composer of the band.
Many of the artists, such as Brazilian singer Mônica Vasconcelos and tuba and bass guitar player Gideon Juckes are established stars in their own right. Others, such as Dean's seven-year old daughter Madalaine, who sings the Amazonian tune Mamãe Iemanja, are just embarking on their musical journey. The unique sound of Empty Boat combines African rhythms and multiple vocals with Latin percussion, jazz and Brazilian harmonies.
The music has evolved since the first trip with each Empty Boat musician adding their personality to the complex and multi-layered sounds of the new album. Songs are tightly structured and melody led with vocals from many different voices and countries (UK, Brazil, Mozambique, Spain). The wind ensemble of accordeon, tuba, sax, bass clarinet, bassoon, recorder and penny whistle form the basis of the music, with keyboards and guitar adding colour.