Back in 2008, Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore of Australian electro-pop duo Empire of the Sun created a dreamy, alternate universe on their debut album, Walking On A Dream. Five years later — and after a scare involving Littlemore’s brief, but bizarre disappearance — they return to continue the story of that fantasy world with their sophomore effort, Ice On The Dune, due out this June via Astralwerks.
In this latest installment, according to a press release, “Emperor Steele and Lord Littlemore face an unprecedented challenge in their bid to restore peace to the world, 1,000 years into the future.” The duo elaborates further in the album’s “introductory chapter”:
Once, the world was pure. It was the Emperor and the Prophet who kept it thus. Each day, they charted the sun’s course across the sky, guided rivers down from mountain peaks, brought rains to quench raging fires.
With the aid of their four priests, who possessed spirits of wild animals, they traveled the world tirelessly, maintaining nature’s delicate balance, allowing all things to grow and flourish — always with the aid of the sacred jewel held atop the Emperor’s crown…
But one night, as the Emperor slumbered, recovering from his labors, true darkness appeared. The King of Shadows, ever the bitter foe of the Empire, and all it had achieved, crept into their temple. Craving the Emperor’s power, he stole the jewel from his crown– and in an instant the world was changed.
Robbed of the bulk of his power, the Emperor and the Prophet watched helplessly as their temple was torn asunder, and their priests cast far out into the world.
But even in that moment, when all appeared lost, there was one thing that the King of Shadows’ black heart simply could not have imagined…The Emperor and the Prophet had never abandoned hope.
For deeper clarification, check out the album’s epic video trailer below.
Though the album release is still a few months away, South by Southwest attendees will have the opportunity to preview Ice On The Dune in its entirety through an exclusive listening event down in Austin. For more details and to RSVP, go here.
Fans can also catch Empire of the Sun live, as they’ll be playing a handful of festivals this summer.