Empire of the Sun: Two Vines


This is the third album from Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore and continues the two men’s contribution to classy pop. Steele is the genius behind The Sleepy Jackson while Littlemore is bit of an over-achiever, having co-written for The Sleepy Jackson, been the frontman of the electronic duo Pnau, a member of the art-rock band Teenager and, as a producer, working with Elton John, Robbie Williams, Ellie Goulding, Groove Armada and Mika. He also had a spell working worked with the Cirque Du Soleil as a composer and musical director.

For those who’ve not heard of Empire of the Sun: Littlemore’s band Teenager also featured Pip Brown, now known as Ladyhawke, and Brown, Steele and Littlemore all seem to like synthy eighties pop. It’s the kind of music you’d have had in a feel-good John Hughes teen movie.

It’s a hard life being a rock star: the record was partly recorded in Hawaii, and Steele would go surfing in the morning, then work in the evening and the album has a mellow feel; if it was in a movie it would be the barbecue on the beach.

Guest players include one Lindsey Buckingham, as well as Mark Goldenberg, who has played lead guitar for Jackson Browne and has just finished a two-year tour with Hugh Laurie. The album itself is quality: well composed tunes, Steele is in fine voice and the playing is excellent, though the lyrics can be cheesy.

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