Inspired by pre-lockdown nightlife, ‘Dry Ice‘ by Manchester’s The Empty Page is a love letter to the sweaty, hedonistic club nights that, despite the world gradually opening up again, haven’t quite returned to their former glory.
From the first bars, the track captures the essence of glowsticks in a dark room, the woozy joy of seeing their shine blurred by smoke and alcohol. But the sweetness of it is underlined by a sad sense of nostalgia brought on by the sheer distance of the memory. The lyrics follow the narrative of a night out, but in a way that feels like the hungover snatches of it that flash back to you later on; the verses capture those moments that stay with you one at a time, a blissful blur of strings and synths between them.
The Empty Page have chosen their moments perfectly – they’ve selected those liminal experiences that stay with you because of their simplicity. The smell of sweat and hairspray spilling out into the fresh air through an open door, the luxury of dressing up only to mess up that perfect outfit before you get home, the carbs you desperately need on your wobbly way home. The track hits those universal moments that are never the highlight of a night out, but are the very familiar beats that it’s all too easy to feel nostalgic about now. All these elements throughout the verses culminate in the pure hedonistic joy of being lost in the chorus; the wailing vocals and screaming guitars ramp up into that heady moment of pure euphoria when you forget who you are and just get caught in the crowd and the music.
‘Dry Ice’ highlights the magic in those simple moments. It effortlessly recreates the sense of togetherness that comes from being in a room full of strangers dancing as one. In the limbo between pre and post pandemic activities, the song is both a celebration and commiseration, with a conflicting but captivating emotional kick.