Empire of the Sun has released their third artist album Two Vines. The "Walking On A Dream" duo have spent much of the past three years touring on the back of their sophomore LP Ice on the Dune, but then disappeared to Hawaii to record this new record.
Empire of the Sun from the outset of their careers were able to create something totally different with their music and that is one reason they have been loved over their nearly decade-long professional career.
Luke Steele's voice remains one of the most recognizable in their niche of indie-dance, pop, new wave type of sound, their live setup and colorful aesthetic has brought everything together.
They look to further that with Two Vines and do so in some areas and fail in others.
As one might expect with an artist who has created their own sound and nailed it, the album is one cohesive unit. Songs at times blend together, but others like "High and Low" and "Ride" show the mastery they have for writing upbeat, synth-pop songs.
The last song on the album finds Nick Littlemore and Steele collaborating with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham - a smooth finale that still has their sound, but one can hear the soothing influence of Buckingham in her guitar.
They do work with Henry Hey and Tim Lefebvre of David Bowie's Blackstar Band throughout the record as well. It is credit to Empire of the Sun that they still incorporate those outside influences into their project, but keeps the identity of their sound and overall vision intact.
From Walking On A Dream to Two Vines, Empire Of The Sun has not shown all that much growth. The sound is largely in tact and that is a safe play, but they haven't shown much desire to take that many risks. Taking big leaps can be scary with the possibility of failure, but Empire of the Sun are approaching the time where some risks should be expected.
The group is still writing great pop songs and has an unmistakable identity, but the growth to be something greater than what they have been is missing.
Pick up the album on iTunes.