Giddy, Danceable, Pure Electro Nostalgia Shapes The Magical Music Of Empire of the Sun’s ‘Two Vines’
I had been meaning to sit down and listen to a full Empire of the Sun album for ages, but hadn’t gotten around to it until recently. It’s musical style represents the crème de la crème of various sounds from a time in my mid twenties when electroclash and indie pop and electro pop and the bazillion other classifiers of that certain style of synthesized dance rock was playing everywhere at bars and clubs (at least the ones I frequented.) That scene kind of died or so I had thought; one night in 2016, I was watching Jimmy Kimmel, and this band, which I had never heard of, came on with all such epic costuming and live production value, to play “High and Low.” I was completely enthralled with not only the cinematic energy of that performance but the sheer joy I felt coming from this hop along synth pop adventure I was hearing. It was house, trance, and old school new wave – plus, both happy and also wistful – not unlike the world of imagination I associate with late eighties movies such as “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” Does that make any sense? I was getting a nostalgic childhood vibe from the music, in the same way I remembered the sad yet hopeful elegance associated with Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero”, the theme song of that movie. Come to find out, this duo was Australian just like that movie production. I really think that there is a link there. While I did not continue on with their music then, it’s funny – I heard a few singles here and there and basically came to the conclusion over the last few years that this was one of the greatest combination of sounds and feelings out there – and so certainly, their albums ‘must’ be good I assumed. Well, I must have been on some other shit for all this time, but I was so happy when I finally gave this album it’s proper attention in 2019 – as it was everything I’d hoped it to be.