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Garbage Share Vintage New Single, ‘Empty’

Just like the trash bin on pickup day, Garbage is “Empty.”

“Empty,” the first single from Garbage’s upcoming record, Strange Little Birds, has officially arrived. Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, and Steve Marker premiered the new track this morning on Pasadena radio station, KROQ.

The song features sumptuous production value that doesn’t sacrifice the band’s grunge roots. Electric basslines roll at the bottom of the mix and Manson’s resonant vocal soars atop, singing those same morose declarations that made for great albums in the ’90s—at times it bears a very ‘90s-esque EQ. If “Empty” sounds familiar, that’s because it’s kind of supposed to.

“A lot of this record was drawn upon what we were listening to when we were growing up,” Marker told KROQ. “And there’s so much great music that we all love.”

The impetus behind the song itself is pretty self-explanatory: “Empty is just exactly what it says it is. A song about emptiness,” said Manson. “Emptiness” is just one piece of Strange Little Birds overarching “romantic” themes, though.

“I’ve been talking about how this record is a romantic record and what I mean by that is just it’s very raw and vulnerable I suppose,” Manson told the radio station. “It’s really kind of in your face and I suppose that’s what I mean by romantic because when you’re in love, that’s when you’re at your most open and your most raw and flawed.”

The LP will be the Wisconsin band’s first since 2012’s Not Your Kind of People. To celebrate its release, Garbage has invited fans to a special listening party at the East West Studios in LA on May 17. Attendees will be privy to a three-song performance, the opportunity to hear the record in full, and a Q&A about the album’s creation. Garbage will also announce the details of a forthcoming US tour later this week, so stay tuned!

Check out the song above, and full tracklist below:


  1. Sometimes
  2. Empty
  3. Blackout
  4. If I Lost You
  5. Night Drive Loneliness
  6. Even Though Our Love Is Doomed
  7. Magnetized
  8. We Never Tell
  9. So We Can Stay Alive
  10. Teaching Little Fingers To Play
  11. Amends

IMAGE: Joseph Cultice

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