Empire of the Sun have gained a reputation over the years of incorporating elaborate wardrobe and stage presence with an epic electronic dance music tempo. Hidden behind the bass driven dance beats of the synth-pop duo are some amazingly poetic lyrics. In a genre that doesn't normally prioritize meaningful lyrics over rhythm, the artistic balance of poetry and dance music are what make Empire of the Sun stand out amongst the pack.
Our DNA is the only thing that truly makes us unique, it's the blueprint for our body and mind. It's been rumored that Luke Steele's parents were the main inspiration for "DNA" because the opening two lines read "Oh it didn't matter where we lie, back in Spring of '79", a reference to Luke's possible time of conception since he was born in December of 1979. On the surface, this single from the 2013 album, Ice on the Dune, is somewhat of a dance party anthem, but what lies beneath is much more intimate.
"Oh, didn't matter where we lie
Back in spring of '79
There were no rules to feel sublime
Let's trek down the path
We slept to the radio
Gentle as my heart beats now
Turn up the fuse all over again, my friend
Just to take me away
Rewind, be my DNA
Don't wanna fade away
Rewind, there's no yesterday
It's our discovery
Dreamtime, it's a special place
Let's keep each other awake
Our hearts, now they beat the same"
4. "Half Mast"
After a disagreement with loved ones, especially a significant other, we tend to imagine a scenario where we can just wish away the problem, like a bad dream that we wake from, relieved. Unfortunately, it usually takes much more than that to truly reconcile and move on. Empire of the Sun bottles up those emotions and released them in song form for this track off their 2009 album, Walking on a Dream, where Luke pleads his love to "Hear me now, I'm down on knees and praying, though my faith is weak, without you so please baby please give us a chance, make amends and I will stand until the end".
"Come on now can we talk about it like we used to talk about
Hotel in the hills with a carousel
Farmhouse in the front a tractor in the lounge
Oh oh oh honey I need you round I know I know
Listen now can we talk in love and walk the town
Be easy now, go hiking through the hills in a summer gown
Raise the kids, peace within and make our sound
Hear me now, I'm down on knees and praying
though my faith is weak
without you so please baby please give us a chance
make amends and I will stand until the end
a million times a trillion more"
3. "I'll Be Around"
This love ballad off the 2013 album, Ice on the Dune, carries some of the most romantically simple lyrics that speak of true companionship and dedication. "I'll Be Around" sounds like it could be a track of an album from the mid-80's, but the enchanting rhythm still resonates as much today as it would have then. As long as Empire of the Sun continues to make beautiful music like this, you can bet on your life their fans will be around for a while.
"This is for her house let’s then make it so proud
Virtually a mystic couldn’t unravel tonight
Harder than diamonds, couldn’t describe
Running like a river while I move to sun
So I made up my mind
I’ll be around for a while
You can better your life
I’ll be around for a while"
2. "Two Vines"
The title track off of Empire of the Sun's 2016 release makes us feel nostalgic at times, subconsciously reminiscing of a simpler time in our lives. The lyrics "Two vines slowly growing right into your ears" illustrates the band's intention of an album inspired by nature taking back the earth. Two vines creeping through one's mind and body, converting their body back into its natural state sounds like a very zen experience indeed.
"We got the best years ahead
We know we do
We reach for love
It meets us on the headway
Blind to the upcoming eye
Caught in the fuss above
Right in the prime of your life
Struck by the force of us
And all because we trust two vines
Slowly growing right into your ears
Show me all the life
Lead us in your wind tonight
1. "The World"
Perhaps no other song fits Empire of the Sun's extravagant appearance more than this theatrically epic sounding jam off their 2009 debut album, Walking on a Dream. "The World" takes us on an existential journey, asking the world to unveil the truth of it's beginning while we dance the night away on this little rock in the universe.
"It's just a memory
Billions and billions of lights and hearts
Befalling to embers through to coal
Save from dust to dust
To wind to desert to death
I asked the world a question
When did you begin?
I asked him of his problems
When did you go wrong?
Those lead you who wake from the dreams which lies and shapes the farm in their eyes"