Empire of the Sun are set to return with the long-awaited sophomore album later in the year. Their follow-up breaks the half-decade since their debut, and was announced via a mysterious teaser trailer in support of the release and have enlisted the help of a Hollywood heavyweight as director for the new video.
Set for a release in June this year, Ice On The Dune is the long-awaited return for the duo who burst on the scene in 2008 with the release of show stopper Walking On A Dream which earned the band eight ARIA awards and two BRIT award nominations.
Masterminds Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore reunited with original collaborators PNAU’s Peter Mayes and Jono Sloan in New York over 18 months ago, following on from the success of their debut which was championed selling more than one million copies worldwide.
The American director invited Steele and Littlemore to hang out in his Los Angeles space, which resulted in his Bad Robot production team teaming up with the band to create a very Raiders Of The Lost Ark-inspired teaser called ‘Discovery’.
The trailer was released early this morning and is the first new material from the group’s new album, although it reveals little about the sound of the new recird with only 20 seconds of the three-minute clip being music. Despite this, the clip already has fans eager to hear more of the beat-masters’ new work which is said to “develop the back story and future story of the Empire,” says singer Steele.“In the end what has driven us is the same as the first record, which is music that makes people feel excited and want to get up in the morning.” – Luke Steele, Empire Of The Sun
The clip depicts several South American miners discovering early tribal cave paintings depicting the etherial “Empire of the Sun”, uncovering the colourful and bird-like face of “Emperor” Steele and his fur clad bandmate “Lord” Littlemore in a sparse desert; the duo face an unprecedented challenge in their bid to restore peace to the world, 1,000 years into the future. The teaser’s mysterious tone should come as no surprise from the mastermind behind Lost, Fringe and Alcatraz.
Steele says it’s all “pretty exciting”, though does mention feeling enormous pressure to match the success of Walking On A Dream. “I had never experienced fame before, and I don’t think in Australia, people realised how many places this record travelled,” the former Sleepy Jackson frontman reveals, “In the end what has driven us is the same as the first record, which is music that makes people feel excited and want to get up in the morning.”
Steele says the duo are set to tour the record in Australia when they return home closer to its June release, hoping to create an impressive live show after they take Ice On The Dune around the world, booked in to play music festivals such as Sasquatch, Electric Forest, Sziget, and Wilderness Festival.
News of the long-awaited return of Empire Of The Sun joins a long list of exciting new album releases in 2013. International acts including the disco-influenced album from Parisian duo Daft Punk, the latest from grunge veterans Mudhoney, new material from Brooklyn outfit The National, the latest from Parisian indie popsters Phoenix, the fifth LP from New Yorkers The Strokes, David Bowie’s first new album in a decade, and anticipated releases from the likes of Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Knife’s 98 minute opus, Shaking The Habitual.
Similarly we can see brand new tunes from Australian artists including the Cat Empire’s latest, the second album from Melbourne twosome Big Scary, the Russian inspired return of Midnight Juggernauts, and a heap of new albums from the likes of Bernard Fanning, Birds of Tokyo, Hermitude, Airbourne, Super Wild Horses, and new material from Perth outfit Pond.