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Empire Of The Sun brings together two unlikely collaborators from Australian pop. Luke Steele, the enigmatic wunderkind behind The Sleepy Jackson, first met Pnau’s Nick Littlemore via a mundane hook-up instigated by the latter’s record company. Thus began a friendship which Luke describes as “this fireball of electricity”, and which eventually resulted in ‘Walking On A Dream’ – a bold, visionary and quite brilliant album, which manages to sound exhilaratingly contemporary, audaciously forward-looking, yet also curiously archaic all at once. From Nick and Luke’s collective unconscious arose a rare marriage of rock and electronica, immediacy and depth, futurism and tradition, hi-tech production and creative spontaneity, pop melody and the cinematic. “We met in Darlinghurst, Sydney,” Nick remembers of the duo’s first encounter circa 2000. “Luke was quite striking. He was carrying a suitcase, and I wasn’t sure exactly what was in it. Every time I saw him from then on, he would have the suitcase, but he’d have a different object inside of it, which was thrilling. The next day, we went straight up to my folks’ place where I had a studio, and wrote a song.” Not long afterwards, Luke sang on Pnau’s single, ‘With You Forever’. Luke then garnered global acclaim with his two guitar-based albums as The Sleepy Jackson (2003’s ‘Lovers’ and 2006’s ‘Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird’), while Pnau became one of the brightest exports from Australia’s burgeoning dance scene, most recently working with multi- platinum indie-rockers, The Killers. Somehow, despite all the madness of their separate trajectories, Luke and Nick’s relationship grew deeper, and more creative. “As an artist,” says Luke, “you look for a connection, and there isn’t really that many musicians that you have lightning connection with. It was kind of one in a million for us to meet, and strike. The really great duos – the Steely Dans, the Daft Punks, Air – there’s only a few of them around. ”Thus, in 2007, they eventually got around to recording together, in the paltry spare time in their respective schedules. The brief, intense sessions would be driven by Nick and Luke, with Peter Mayes, Nick’s partner in Pnau, taking on a recording/engineering role at their studio in Sydney. Luke: “Most of the record was done when I’d be in town for a day, so we’d have to finish a whole song in a night. Then, two months later, I’m back, and we’d do it again. So it was spontaneous writing, which was good. A lot of the Sleepy [Jackson] stuff was quite labored. This was the first record where I could have a bit of a break. It all just happened.” Above and beyond actual music-making, the duo bonded over shared outlooks and inspirations from other artforms. Movies were a major passion. They would eventually take their name from the Spielberg- directed movie version of JG Ballard’s novel, Empire of the Sun, which is set in occupied Shanghai during the Second World War. However, a pivotal moment arrived when the duo watched Alejandro Jodorowsky’s legendary avant-garde masterpiece from 1973, ‘The Holy Mountain’, in which a Christ-like character withdraws from society with a flock of disciples to quest for eternal life.






  • Empire Of The Sun - Live Stage, Ultra Music Festival Japan
  • Empire Of The Sun - Storm Electronic Music Festival Beijing, China



  • Empire Of The Sun - Mysteryland US, United States


  • Empire Of The Sun - Weekend 1, Coachella Festival Indio, United States


  • Empire Of The Sun - Dance Red Save Live 2, Stereosonic Sydney, Australia

Upcoming/Unreleased Music[]