On the surface everything about Empire Of The Sun appears to be on a grand scale of eccentricity and grandiosity. The costumes, the stage show and even their music videos crave your attention.
However any sonic oddity left over from 2008’s Walking On A Dream – that’s not including the chart topping singles – has been purged from Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore’s systems as they resign their wackiness to the aesthetic side of things.
Ice On The Dune increases the scale in the dance pop stakes though. Bookended by the only two exceptions to the rule in the largely redundant intro of ‘Lux’ and the Lennon infused ‘Keep A Watch’, the rest of the album is consistent with sappy up-tempo electronic numbers.
The lyricism of the record revolves around the hippie-saturated ideologies of love and positivity. “Loving every minute cause you make me feel so alive,” sings Steele on the first single. It’s enough to make any realist vomit, but the trick here is not to take Ice On The Dune as seriously as the musicians take themselves.
Empire Of The Sun know how to nail a catchy pop track. Far too well for their own good it seems. While ‘I’ll Be Around’ allows for a balladry breather, the synth bangers in ‘Celebrate’ and ‘Awakening’ are initially accessible yet all too quickly disposable.
Undeniably, Ice On The Dune is a cleverly crafted summer pop release that is primed to shift big numbers.
While the music sounds sweet and glorious in the moment don’t expect that timeframe to see the year out.