Australian electro-pop duo Empire of the Sun possess a well-proven ability to entertain. Known for their epic performances chock-full of production value and artistic flare, the band treated fans to one of the most exciting and synergistic concert experiences of the 2013 summer festival circuit. Accompanied on stage by a troupe of costumed dancers and state-of-the-art visuals, Empire of the Sun wowed ticket holders across the US and Europe with their energetic sets of danceable hits like “Alive” from 2013’s Ice on the Dune.
Empire of the Sun began as the side project of musicians Luke Steele of The Sleepy Jackson and Nick Littlemore of Pnau. With the success of their 2008 debut album Walking on a Dream, the project became a focal point for the duo, resulting in their first live performances as a band in 2009. In 2013, their sophomore album Ice on the Dune reached No. 3 in Australia and No. 20 on the US Billboard 200, with lead single “Alive” receiving the remix treatment by some of the world’s top DJs including David Guetta, Zedd and DJ Tiesto. With their electrifying performance style, adrenalized synths, and electro beats, the duo is not afraid to push the limits of showmanship, leaving fans eager for their 2014 performances.
Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore met in 2000 after being introduced by Steele’s A&R executive, Simon Moor, in a bar in Sydney. Both were at the time signed to EMI and had already been working on different projects. Over the years that followed, the two collaborated on a number of occasions. Littlemore helped write the song “Tell the Girls That I’m Not Hangin’ Out”, which appeared on The Sleepy Jackson’s 2003 debut album, Lovers, and Steele had some artistic input in Littlemore’s 2006 art-rock project Teenager. After a falling out over the song on Lovers the co-operation ceased for a while, with Littlemore commenting “I’m a very intense person and I take things to heart”.
The two reconvened in 2006 to work on two songs for the Pnau album that was released in late 2007. They collaborated on the tracks “Freedom” and the opener “With You Forever” where Steele supplied the vocal. This prompted a change in direction for the band who began to craft a work more vocally-centered album featuring guest performances. A track-by-track analysis of the album Pnau revealed that writing of “With You Forever” with Luke Steele inspired Littlemore’s band to begin work on a collaborative project. Littlemore said, “We fell in love with music again with [With You Forever]; I think this is [Pnau’s] first great song.” The release of Pnau brought an interest from Elton John, who signed Littlemore to his management company.
The new project began to develop under the working title of “Steelemore” as a collaboration between Steel and Littlemore, with Pau partner Peter Mayes listed as a producer and occasional co-writer. As Steele was living in Perth and Littlemore was in Sydney the two spent time writing songs separately while meetings occasionally in Sydney to decide on the musical direction and style. When they had accumulated enough material Mayes and duo began to produce the album throughout 2007 with the assistance of Jonathan Sloan.
Although the name of the project has been attributed to the 1984 novel of the same name by J. G. Ballard, Littlemore denies this and offers an explanation, saying, “the name comes more from the idea of (and you’ll see this in the ongoing videos) the fact that we’re traveling around the world going to all the places of empires of the civilization where the sun has been a theme of worship. It’s not based on the Ballard novel nor the Spielberg film of the same name”.
• Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 – 06:30pm – 10:30pm
• Orpheum Theatre – 601 Smithe Street Vancouver, BC
• Lineup – Empire of the Sun & Holy Ghost!
• Tickets – $35, $49.50 (plus service charges)
• Reserved seating, all ages
• Buy tickets online
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