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Empire of the Sun try to change the world

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Danielle McGrane

Empire of the Sun are unashamedly trying to change the world with their third album, Two Vines.

The electro-musical pairing of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore, who brought about the enduring 2008 hit Walking on a Dream (recently resurrected for a Honda ad in the US), have returned with altruistic intentions.

"In the last 18 months I've had something of an awakening and I've come to a more spiritual place in my life, a more mindful place, and I'm excited to share some of the ideas and thoughts and the colours that we've gone to on this record," Littlemore told AAP.

The awakening for the team's chief lyricist Littlemore is tied up with the natural world. While he lives in the commercial metropolis of LA, he looks to his Australian homeland more and more with despair.

The mining of land in areas of the Southern Highlands and the Liverpool Plains has caused him to speak passionately of their destruction.

"Places that are so resonant and so beautiful could be sold out and for what? Why are we destroying our planet? We can do better than this," he said.

"We're not living with nature, we're trying to change nature and I think that's incredibly dangerous, and it saddens me a lot."

His response is an album full of hopeful imagery, embracing our imagination (on lead single High and Low), and getting back to nature with a critique on our reliance on machines in the song Digital Life.

Ironically, the duo are making their back-to-nature point through their own digitally enhanced sounds.

"This is the great dichotomy with me. At once I'm a hippy and I want to live off the grid, but the other thing is in order for me to create what I create, I do need elements of technology to do so," Littlemore said.

These are conflicting times and Littlemore knows that while technology allows positive messages to reach larger audiences, it functions through the use of devices he believes are "sucking away this earth".

"I have a lot of hope for this world and I only have love for this world and I just want to put out a really good message."

The band thrives on imaginative and surreal music, but Littlemore insists there's always a message in what they do.

"We wouldn't bother to make a record unless we had something quite profound to talk about or at least send out into the universe," he said.

*Two Vines is out now.

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