Snarky Puppy Announces New Album ‘Empire Central’ & Shares Single

Watch a live performance video for lead single “Trinity”

By Nate Todd Jun 10, 2022 12:20 pm PDT

Snarky Puppy will issue a new album, Empire Central, on September 30 via the band’s GroundUP Music imprint. The Grammy-winning collective led by Michael League previewed the record with the single, “Trinity.”

Snarky Puppy captured Empire Central’s 16 new tracks over the course of eight performances in front of a live-in-studio audience at the Deep Ellum Art Company in Dallas just south from where the band originated at the University of North Texas’ prestigious music program. The new LP is an homage to Dallas as the city that hosted the collective after forming at North Texas in Denton.

Along with paying tribute to Dallas, Empire Central also contains the last recorded performance of renowned funk-jazz musician and Snarky Puppy “musical Godfather” Bernard Wright, who sadly died shortly after the sessions for the album. Additionally, Snarky Puppy has teamed with Osiris Media for a podcast examining the creation of Empire Central set to premiere this summer.

Upon reviewing the first night of the run from which Empire Central emerged, the Dallas Morning News wrote, “in classic Snarky Puppy fashion, the new tunes zigzagged with laser precision between jazz, funk and wigged-out prog-rock.” Bandleader and bassist Michael League further detailed the new record:

Snarky Puppy has always been a band that prioritizes the sound of the music. On this record there was some collaboration in the writing process but when a song goes to the band and the players start making suggestions or changing things our collective feeling really comes through. The songs ended up being a lot more direct and funkier than those on our previous records. I think it reflects the many moods of the city’s scene.

Snarky Puppy previews Empire Central with the album’s closer, “Trinity.” The Elm Fork of the Trinity River runs near Denton, Texas and the Trinity River flows through the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “Trinity” also arrived with a live performance video from the Deep Ellum Art Company sessions. Watch it below:


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Empire Central Tracklist:

  1. Keep It On Your Mind
  2. East Bay
  3. Bet
  4. Cliroy
  5. Take It!
  6. Portal
  7. Broken Arrow
  8. RL’s
  9. Mean Green
  10. Fuel City
  11. Free Fall
  12. Belmont
  13. Pineapple
  14. Honiara
  15. Coney Bear
  16. Trinity
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