Empire Of The Sun could be making their long-awaited comeback in 2022, according to a new interview with one half of the Sydney-native pop duo, Nick Littlemore.
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The reunion was teased during Littlemore’s podcast appearance on The Plug with Neil Griffiths, where he told the titular host that “there could totally be Empire stuff in the next year, for sure”. Notably, Littlemore had previously appeared on Griffiths’ podcast The Green Room in 2020, where he also hinted at an Empire reunion.
In his new chat with the journalist, Littlemore – who also performs in PNAU – said the pair were held back on earlier plans to reconvene due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as bandmate Luke Steele’s other obligations (such as H3000, with whom he recently dropped a self-titled debut album).
Littlemore said he hadn’t seen Steele “since COVID or a fair while prior to COVID”, noting that although Steele has “been doing other stuff” for the time being, fans of Empire can rest easy knowing there’s “some really exciting music” in the pipeline.
“I actually just found one of the lyrics the other day which we wrote in Japan,” he continued. “It’s such an exciting record – it’s super sad but in that way that Luke makes you feel good about feeling sad; makes you feel good about feeling anything. He’s such an extraordinary artist.”
Littlemore then unveiled the lyrics, which had previously been unheard, as: “Maybe I drink alone but maybe I drink with friends / I just don’t know; you know? / Maybe I feel too much but maybe I fall in love with love, not lust.”
Have a listen to Littlemore’s full appearance on The Plug with Neil Griffiths below:
Back in May, Littlemore quashed hopes for an imminent Empire reunion by saying (once more, in an interview with Griffiths), that it was unlikely any new music from the group would come out this year or next.
“There’s a lot of [material] but we just struggle so much with Zoom writing and it’s always been such an ‘in the room’ kind of tangible band where you sort of run on the spirit of what’s happening,” he said. “We tried to entertain some things, but it just didn’t really work. It’s funny, when it’s not in sync it just feels like you’re painting over a wall that keeps drying a different colour.”
Littlemore has kept mighty busy nonetheless, working on a new collaboration with Elton John and racking up a full slate of touring with PNAU. Before the year’s end, PNAU will perform at festivals Beyond The City, NYE In The Park and Party In The Apocalypse.
Last Sunday (November 21), Tim Carrol of Holy Holy, Tia Gostelow and Hayley Mary joined forces to perform a tribute to Empire Of The Sun on the latest episode of The Sound. Together they played ‘Walking On A Dream’ (from Empire’s titular 2008 album), which Mary praised as “a bloody banger and an example of some of Australia’s finest songwriting”.