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empire of the sun ice on the dune

Empire Of The Sun – 'Ice on the Dune' album review

Another album of pristine synth-pop by the flamboyant Aussies

By Nick Levine

Try and listen to ‘Ice on the Dune’ without thinking of the following: sun; summer; eating ice cream in the sun; happy, brightly dressed crowds at sunny festivals. Good luck, because the ties between Empire Of The Sun’s music and the blazing ball referenced in their name are impossible to ignore. As with their 2008 debut, ‘Walking on a Dream’, the Australian duo’s second album sizzles with unashamedly glittery and radiant synth-pop and falsetto vocals, generously dripping in sugar and smiles, and ready to soundtrack a thousand happy-go-lucky summers.

Once again, the comparisons with MGMT are unavoidable and justified (interestingly, a couple of tracks also have a distinctly Daft Punk feel to them), but it’s not boundary-smashing originality that Empire Of The Sun are aiming for, it’s pristine electro-pop, and they pull that off very well indeed. At times, things get too damn syrupy and upbeat for their own good – the duo should really be locked in a room with Leonard Cohen for a few hours – but if you’re just after a one-summer stand of gleaming anthems, look no further. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

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