2016 album from the singer/songwriter. Empire Builder is named for the Amtrak route Laura Gibson took while moving from Portland, Oregon to New York City in the summer of 2014. Out of her comfort zone, she found even more of a challenge than she'd envisioned. Immediately upon arrival, she broke her foot and barely left her 5th floor apartment for the first two months. Then, on March 26th, 2015, her East Village building burned to the ground in a horrific gas explosion which killed two people and left many homeless. Gibson escaped from her apartment unharmed, but lost everything: all identification, eyeglasses, musical instruments, years of notebooks and every word she had written in response to her move. It is no surprise that Empire Builder stands as her most personal record to date. But while the making of the album was cathartic, it's not just an auto-biographical mirror-gazing exercise; it's a huge leap forward for Gibson as a songwriter, composer and producer. Gibson gathered a stellar band of old friends to complement her songs: guitarist/bassist Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Menomena), drummer/percussionist Dan Hunt (Neko Case) and composer/violinist Peter Broderick. Other contributors include Nate Query of the Decemberists and vocalist Alela Diane.