Even if you think you don’t know who Empire of The Sun are, you’re wrong. You have 100 percent heard their enormous smash hit “Walking On A Dream” while out at a club, or in a car commercial, or on that one road trip playlist your best friend made — it’s one of those songs that is forever ingrained in the DNA of what music in America in the mid 2000s felt like. It’s that good.
That song was the title track off the Australian dance pop duo of Nick Littlemore and Luke Steele’s debut album of the same name, which was released in 2008, and is sometimes the case with a moment of genius that intense, the duo have had something of a slow burn in the last couple years. Due to a grueling touring schedule, they followed up their debut five years later with Ice On The Dune in 2013.
Nothing off that album hit quite like “Walking On A Dream” did, but it sounds like that is all about to change with the release of their latest single “High And Low,” which kicks off their third album, Two Vines. The record will be out in late October via Astralwerks. It features contributions from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Wendy Melvoin (of Prince’s band the Revolution), pianist Henry Hey and bassist Tim Lefebvre from David Bowie’s Blackstar band.
Nick Littlemore spoke to KROQ a bit on the impetus behind the new single in particular:
It was about this girl I knew when I was a kid called Alice D who was kind of a wild child. She did all kinds of crazy things. There’s an Australian film called The Year My Voice Broke, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but there’s a girl in that that kind of lives a mysterious life. We wanted to write a song that captured the innocence and bravery of youth, and being a teenager, and having these kind of experiences where you throw caution to the wind and you try things for the first time.
His description fits the song perfectly. It’s got the same kind of frenetic, sparkling energy that typified their earliest hit while maintaining an underlying sadness. The euphoria and the looming sense of loss mixing effortlessly — that’s Empire Of The Sun. Listen below.
Here’s the album artwork:
And here’s the tracklist:
2. “High And Low”
3. “Two Vines”
5. “There’s No Need”
6. “Way To Go”
8. “Digital Life”
9. “First Crush”
11. “To Her Door”
13. “Lend Me Some Light”
14. “Welcome To My Life”
15. “Walking On A Dream (Manny Marroquin Remix)”
Two Vines is out October 28 via Astralwerks.