Folkadelphia Session: Emperor X


Emperor X is Chad Metheny and he’s been releasing music out under that moniker since 1998. I’ve been listening to Emperor X for far less time than that, but in a short while, his songs, especially from his latest album Oversleepers International have made a tremendous impact on me and everyone I know that has heard a song, bought a record, or seen him play a show. Whether the music tends towards straight-up folk-punk acoustic strumming, skittering electronics, or even ambient minimalism, there is an inherent passion, energy, and DIY-ness to what Emperor X is bringing to the table.

Apparently Alternative Press described Emperor X as “a spastic, legally blind, nomadic songwriter whose performances transform venues/living rooms/arts spaces into punk rock micro-raves” and how could we achieve a more concise and descriptive mini-biography of Metheny. But what really sets Emperor X apart is his lyrics, which are at once terribly timely and poignant, horrifically tragic, but also utterly human, clever, tongue-in-cheek, and hilarious. It’s a whirlwind through the wits and imagination of a smart, funny man living in a dysfunctional world. I think that applies to many of us, but Emperor X takes these feelings and with his music, transforms it into something useful and beautiful. Plus, downright catchy.

Emperor X’s new album Oversleepers International is now available via Tiny Engines.

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