Empire Of The Sun, ‘Alive’

'Alive' is a beaming, gushing tribute to the power of love (man)

They’ve not had a record out for three years, but Empire Of The Sun’s timing is impeccable – at least here in the UK. ‘Alive’, the Australian duo’s first proper new music since 2008 debut album ‘Walking On A Dream’, is a sunshine soundtrack right on the button. Albeit with some bet-hedging chat about snow thrown in.

Luke Steele’s spent the intervening years gadding about with BeyoncĂ© and some handy new make-up/headgear ideas, while Nick Littlemore’s been hanging with Pnau again, gorging himself on the fruits of vast success with last year’s ‘Good Morning To The Night’, where he and Peter Mayes souped up some old Elton John material and took it all the way to No.1 – but it’s splendid to hear the pair joining forces for some more ultra-plush synth pop.

‘Alive’ is a beaming, gushing tribute to the power of love (man) with the softest of dancefloor shuffles and a cracking middle eight, as we musicologists say. There’s something of Justice’s ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ in the delirious chants, and a rising build into the final chorus that’s as joyous as Boy Meets Girl’s ‘Waiting For A Star To Fall’. Frankly, that’ll do.

‘Alive’ will be exclusively available as an instant grat on iTunes from tomorrow (16 April), and Empire Of The Sun’s second album ‘Ice On The Dune’ is released on 17 June.

Matthew Horton