Empire of the Sun-Ice on the Dune (Full Album Stream)

Yet another album to add to that 18th June release date, though unlike the rest it’s one I’ve been eagerly anticipating for several years. Sidenote: is the world ending on the 19th? Is there something we don’t know about that’s making everyone throw their projects out on the 18th?

If the lead single is anything to go by, their dreamy, ethereal soundscapes seem to have undergone a heavy pop injection, and whilst it’ll take some adjusting if the whole album has that same piercing positivity, I’m confident the unique duo can pull it off. Time will tell if that’s the case, and you can find out if the project matches up to their own lofty standards below. Stream is available below via Rolling Stone, but be warned as oddly, it seems to be blocked outside of the US for the time being. Silly.

Empire of the Sun-Ice on the Dune (Album Stream)

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Empire of the Sun-Alive (Video)

Ice on the Dune lands on 18th June, and the duo finally release the first set of visuals from that long-awaited album. Admittedly, the song took a little time to fully grow on me, with its incredibly positive nature being a tough one to stomach for long periods, but it’s fair to say that increased exposure has slowly won me over.

This video only serves to enhance the upbeat vibe of the song. Set in a bright landscape, the video combines sandy desert scenery with arctic touches (ice on the dune…), and the end product is a dream-like environment that seems to have stepped right out of a fantasy novel. Of course, EOTS’ own penchant for unique costuming amplifies that further, with relatively futuristic costumes of their own contrasting the somewhat tribal outfitting of their ‘recruits’, with that relationship built up via seemingly ‘the power of music’. It’s a little cheesy in truth, but for a song brighter than the sun, it makes sense in context, and at the very least the chosen landscapes are a great sight. It’s fun to see their sheer commitment to the energy of the track throughout too, as they belt out every lyric with passion and intensity, another factor that helps bring out the song’s positivity. Worth a watch for EOTS fans, though the rest of you should prepare appropriately for the bizarre.

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Empire of the Sun-Alive

ice on the dune
Their highly-anticipated album, Ice on the Dune, lands in June and after teasing us with a cinematic trailer, we get the first full song from the duo’s sophomore LP.

Immediately apparent is the positive, pop-inspired sound that holds this one together, straying slightly further away from their alternative electronic into a more electro-pop territory that makes this a prime contender for radio play in the coming months. The production is built on an ethereal vocal stutter, adding a spaced-out yet upbeat layer to a beat that also encompasses very lively percussion and aestival synths that completely brighten the soundscape. The vocal work is suitably anthemic, with their individual vocal layers seemingly multiplied to recreate the sound of a young persons’ singing group…or alternately, they actually are choir-style vocals. In any case, it creates a feelgood, celebratory vibe to accompany that blindingly-positive production, and hence the package is one that’s not only suited to the time of year (I know, I’ve said that a lot recently), but could potentially be a big mainstream hit for the duo.

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Empire of the Sun-Discovery

Archaeologists have uncovered interglacial cave paintings between 4,200 and 8,000 years old, deep within a rock shelter in Mexico’s Guerrero Peninsula. The people of this region may have kept it secret, in order to harness its power. Inhabitants from the area are thought to be directly related to the “Empire of the Sun,” responsible for protecting the Earth from catastrophe for generations.

Their 2008 debut album was packed in 3 or 4 of the best alternative tracks I’d heard in years at the time (admittedly, the rest of the album wasn’t great), and whilst many have tried, few have managed to recreate the glittery, ethereal soundscapes of this duo since. They’ve pretty much kept their heads down since then, but return to the spotlight with the trailer for their upcoming Ice on the Dune album, directed by JJ Abrams.

It’s about as odd as you’d rightfully expect from the duo, combining a Prometheus-esque cave painting situation with the briefest of audio snippets, though one with promise that sounds like a very focused electro-pop style. Their music’s certainly cinematic, and this weirdly-engrossing visual definitely fits that bill. Their website suggests new releases are due on March 15th, March 22nd, March 29th, and April 8th, so let’s see what else we’re treated to ahead of that June album release.

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Sh*t You Forgot About: Episode 3

After a forced hiatus due to various other commitments, we can finally resume the latest weekly series from the OTU brain trust. I must admit, this is fast becoming my personal favourite series in OTU history, purely because it allows both yourselves and I to rediscover tracks that we either once loved or once forgot about, and that’s frankly a lot of fun.

Enough of the self-appreciation.

Click on below for another diversity-laden edition of SYFA, featuring a trio of prominent current mainstream names, alongside a couple of acts that have slipped away somewhat.

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Spotify: OTU's July Snapshot

Fans and followers, friends and foes: you heard it here first. Being the forward-thinking, innovative blog we are, Overrating The Underrated is jumping on the latest music revolution which is Spotify playlists. This will allow us to bring you monthly snapshots of all five authors’ posted material. The OTU monthly snapshots will ensure you never miss a thing and can enjoy all our picks from one central location: your Spotify application!

Unfamiliar with Spotify? It’s a free music application which allows you to stream and share music with your friends. You can listen to your playlists from any computer or phone in the world and you can also sync with Facebook to see what your friends are listening to. Keep up with the in-crowd, read about it and then get it here.

This month we’ve scoured through our back catalogue to bring you a stylish summery playlist boasting material from the likes of The-Dream, Empire Of The Sun, Tinchy Stryder, The Roots, Rick Ross, Skepta, You Me At Six and many more. So hurry up and click that glorious red text below!

Overrating The Underrated’s July Snapshot

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October Summary

Better late than never eh?

October definitely renewed my faith in music, after a September which was heavily reliant on 3 major album releases. Click below for my musings on the month, and as per last month, my favourite albums/songs from the last 31 days.

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New Wiz Khalifa

A certain co-writer’s posts have convinced me to keep an eye out for Wiz’s material, and here’s a new joint from him. He actually raps over Empire of the Sun’s Walking On A Dream, as well as using the chorus, and creates a very likeable track that I’ll be playing for a while.

Wiz Khalifa-The Thrill (Walking On A Dream)

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