Premiere: Eliot Bronson’s “Empty Spaces” and the Intimate Depths of Isolation

Eliot Bronson © Jenna Shea Mobley
A vulnerable, intimate expression of grief and isolation, loss and longing, Eliot Bronson’s “Empty Spaces” – the title track off his upcoming album – dives into the bittersweet depths of emotional experience with humility, honesty, grace, and sadness.
Stream: “Empty Spaces” – Eliot Bronson




I’m getting used to the empty spaces that you used to fill.

Solitude can be a blissful, cathartic thing, but when it’s solitude experienced in another’s absence, it hurts like nothing else. These times of lockdown and isolation have made us all more aware of what it means to be disconnected from the world and separated from the ones we love, and in singer/songwriter Eliot Bronson’s “Empty Spaces,” we experience that sadness tenfold: A vulnerable, intimate expression of grief and isolation, loss and longing, “Empty Spaces” dives into the bittersweet depths of emotional experience with humility, honesty, and grace.

Empty Spaces - Eliot Bronson

“Empty Spaces” single art – Eliot Bronson

I’ve been sleeping through the night again
I guess I’m feeling alright again
I’m getting used to
Living alone
I’m getting used to
Nobody there when I come home
It’s getting easier
Like they say that it will
I’m getting used to the empty spaces
That you used to fill

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Empty Spaces,” the title track and sophomore single off Eliot Bronson’s upcoming sixth studio album, Empty Spaces (out July 24, 2020 via New Pain Records). An Americana and folk singer/songwriter active for the past decade originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Bronson has been gracing the world with beautiful songs since 2011’s debut Blackbirds and its heartfelt, soothing acoustic opener, “Old Car.”

Eliot Bronson © Jenna Shea Mobley

Eliot Bronson © Jenna Shea Mobley



The past decade has seen Bronson flourish as an artist, with every successive record building upon the last. His 2014 eponymous album helped cement his multi-faceted artistry, and his latest release, 2017’s James, was both a commercial and creative success that established his name in the alt-country/Americana space. All roads now lead to Empty Spaces, whose singles “With Somebody” and “Empty Spaces” promise nothing short of a stunner in the works.

Empty Spaces - Eliot Bronson

Empty Spaces – Eliot Bronson

It’s an album built off two principles we often need to learn the hard way: Heartache and loss. “Empty Spaces is an unapologetic break-up record,” Bronson tells Atwood Magazine. “These songs, especially the title track, were what I needed to hear to get through it. I wasn’t writing to impress anyone else this time. I had nothing to prove.”

I’ve been making dinner just for one
Clean it all up when I’m done
I’m getting used to
Living alone
I’m getting used to
Doing it all on my own
It’s getting better
Having time to kill
I’m getting used to the empty spaces
That you used to fill
me up

To say that this music comes out of a tumultuous time in the artist’s personal life is a significant understatement. In a short span, Bronson experienced the breakup of a ten-year relationship, the end of an engagement, and a move from his longtime Atlanta home to his new dwellings in Nashville.

Empty Spaces doesn’t just evoke the holes in our worlds – it begins the process of filling them in; of healing and starting over. Part of that comes from the bare admission that we are hurting and that we are not okay, which Bronson embraces with a heavy heart. “I’m getting used to living alone,” he sings somberly. “I’m getting used to nobody there when I come home.” It’s a raw and stirring depiction of solitude the likes of which we seldom see – especially in post-breakup songs. Somehow, Bronson manages to keep fresh a feeling that’s as old as love.

“Writing this song felt like walking out into the street naked,” Bronson says of his title track. “The lyrics are so unadorned. I’m used to relying on a certain amount of cleverness in my songwriting, but I realized that would have just given me another place to hide. It’s about acknowledging vulnerability. You’re broken and you find a way to go on. Both at the same time. This song has a kind resonance that I didn’t necessarily anticipate. It speaks to people a lot of different ways, especially with what’s going on in the world. Grief and isolation take many forms. Ironically, I think it’s because I stayed true to my particular experience, that the song touches something universal.”

Eliot Bronson © Jenna Shea Mobley

Eliot Bronson © Jenna Shea Mobley

I’m used to relying on a certain amount of cleverness in my songwriting, but I realized that would have just given me another place to hide.

Musically, Eliot Bronson evokes everyone from classic heavyweights like Tom Petty, to modern masters like Gregory Alan Isakov; he is masterful with melodies, and tasteful when it comes to licks on the guitar. “Empty Spaces” is particularly resonant for him – a song of acceptance that pares down the overdrive and lets vocal harmonies and storytelling lyricism take over. Such simplicity and surrender breeds the beauty see, hear, and feel in this song.

Directed and edited by Marshall Seese, Jr., the “Empty Spaces” video puts the song’s depiction of solitude and isolation on full display. From sun-up to sundown, we watch Bronson live his life alone – making coffee, songwriting, brushing his teeth, attempting yoga, accepting deliveries, preparing a sad lunch, and so on. The Three Dog Night song “One” could just as easily soundtrack this video, but it’s Bronson’s gentle, poetic lilt that carries us through his day. Throughout the video, we see reminders of the person who isn’t there: It comes to us in the form of two empty wine glasses on the kitchen counter, and in dresses hanging in the closet that slowly fade out like a distant memory; these and more capture the presence of absence that fills Bronson’s music with stunning depth.

That depiction of solitude speaks to us now more than ever, whether we’re reeling from a breakup or in lockdown and apart from our family and friends. Ultimately, Eliot Bronson’s “Empty Spaces” leaves us humbled and heartbroken, and hopefully ready to rebuild and restart. Stream the new song and video exclusively on Atwood Magazine! Bronson’s new album Empty Spaces is out July 24, 2020.

Now I just feel numb
I’m getting used to living with
The person I’ve become
It’s getting easier
Like they say that it will
I’m getting used to the empty spaces
I am getting used to the empty spaces
I’m getting used to the empty spaces
That you used to fill



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com