With their pulsating single “High and Low,” Empire of the Sun venture “down where the summer and the late nights last forever.” Acoustic guitar chords give way to booming synth-pads on the chorus, as singer Luke Steele sings wistfully: “If I had my way/ Never let you go.”
“High and Low” previews the electro-pop duo’s third album, Two Vines, out October 28th via Astralwerks. The LP, which follows 2013’s Ice on the Dune, includes contributions from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Prince and the Revolution’s Wendy Melvoin and two former David Bowie collaborators, pianist Henry Hey and bassist Tim Lefebvre.
Two Vines was recorded partly at Honolulu, Hawaii’s Avex Studios, where Kanye West worked on 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “Going to Hawaii to record was the best idea,” Steele said in a statement. “That was the catalyst for me. I’d spend the morning surfing, then roll in and make music into the night.”
“There was an image we talked about very early on with this record, before we wrote the title track, ‘Two Vines,’ and that was this image of a modern city overtaken by jungle, almost like mother nature taking back the planet,” added Steele’s bandmate, Nick Littlemore. “All the buildings will turn back to sand. All it will be is nature again. We wanted to make something that reflected the beauty of that, and the wisdom that plants can give us about living harmoniously on this beautiful planet.”
Steele teased the band’s recent, vintage-leaning approach in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone. “It’s funny, all the music we’ve been making at the moment really sounds like the 1970s,” he said. “I’d say it’s taking cues from 10cc, ELO – you know, all the greats.”