Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Put A Record On: Empire Of The Sun's Dream Walk
February 16th, 2009 | Sydney

Though you should normally be suspicious of men who wear too much make up and capes, Empire of the Sun are proof that even theatrical pop can successfully reach the masses. Some people may see the Australian band as the MGMT of 2009 and they're not far off — most songs on debut album Walking On A Dream do, in fact, share the epic synth qualities of Oracular Spectacular. But when it comes to fashion, Nick Littlemore and Luke Steele definitely take it a step further, potentially even too far.

No matter what you make of Steele's Afghani silk/cotton floor-length robe in lapis lazuli (that's blue to the rest of us), the music has to be appreciated. Indeed, this could easily become the soundtrack to your summer: the title track oozes larger-than-life disco, and, on its soulful chorus, it sounds as though Prince himself made a guest appearance. But the pièce de résistance is "We Are The People," which, with its hypnotic house beat and quasi-religious lyrics ("We are the people that rule the world"), will do exactly for Empire of the Sun what "Kids" did for MGMT.

Even with this imminent fame, the duo are not newly born stars. Steele and Littlemore have already been around the rock block with bands such as the Sleepy Jackson, techno outfit Pnau and Ladyhawke's old band Teenager. Walking On A Dream may have the grandiose opulence in its composition and presentation, but it's good enough to even forgive track names such as "Swordfish Hot Kiss Nite." And that's saying a lot.

Walking On A Dream is out now. For more information, see www.myspace.com/empireofthesunsound.

—David Hellqvist

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