PNAU & Empire of the Sun - AEIOU
13 Oct 2023
With billions of streams, multiple ARIA Awards and massive chart-topping hits between them, PNAU and Empire of the Sun have shaped the global electronic music scene for close to two decades. Now, for the very first time, the two groups have come together on one magical musical creation, ‘AEIOU’ to be released October 12th on etcetc. Featuring Luke Steele’s unmistakable, other-worldly voice, paired with PNAU’s signature dance floor sound, ‘AEIOU’ is the first new music from Empire of the Sun in seven years and drops just in time for PNAU’s summer festival tour of Australia, alongside PNAU announcing their upcoming sixth studio album, Hyperbolic, to be released in early 2024.
PNAU (Nick Littlemore, Peter Mayes, Sam Littlemore) and Empire of the Sun (Nick Littlemore, Luke Steele) have coexisted for years as two of Nick Littlemore’s many artistic ventures but have never officially come together as one before. Nick Littlemore explains why now was the perfect time to bring this fantastical collaboration to life: “This is a dream record for us. We’ve had the idea of a vowels-based song way back before we met Elton, but it never came together until now. It turns out it was worth the wait. And in great style we finally present a collaboration with Empire of the Sun! A voice like no other, let it lead you to the dancefloor.”
Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele adds, “This song is about not letting the garden of Eden within us all be corrupted by the world.”
Accompanied by a visually spectacular animated video by MELT AI, who also created the videos for PNAU’s two most recent singles (‘You Know What I Need’ with Troye Sivan and ‘Stars’ with Bebe Rexha and Ozuna) the video sees Littlemore and Steele in AI form, undertaking a wild, intergalactic adventure. Watch the video here.
Directors Kuba Matyka and Kamila Staszczyszyn from MELT explain their vision behind the video: “'AEIOU' is more than a song; it's a visual and auditory journey that melds the strides of human creativity, AI motion capture, hand-made 3D animation and Stable Diffusion with the artistry of PNAU and Empire of the Sun. We've not just told a story but breathed digital life into it, reflecting the powerful reunion of these iconic musicians and creating a saga that resonates with their legacy. The narrative unfolds in a realm where technology meets empirical, where the Garden of Eden is corrupted by machines. In this tale, Nick, a cyborg born of chrome and synth, roams our world, adapting and evolving through scavenged electronic augmentations. As destiny would have it, he reunites with Luke, an astral magician wielding the powers of melody and dimensional manipulations. Together, they rally against the Mecha Nihilist, a force intent on consuming all that once was pure and harmonious. As the beats of 'AEIOU' pulse through this realm, we see the merging of technology with magic, the tangible with the ethereal.”
Famed for their extensive career born out of the underground clubs and festival dancefloors of Australia, in recent years PNAU have found phenomenal worldwide success making them one of Australia’s highest streaming musical exports and most successful dance acts globally. Having worked with Elton John on the 2012 remix album Good Morning To The Night, in 2021 PNAU found massive global success with their Elton John and Dua Lipa recording ‘Cold Heart’, with the single being nominated for Song of the Year at the Brit Awards, picking up a Billboard Award for Top Dance/Electronic Song and delivering Elton John his first UK number one single in 16 years, surpassing over two billion streams in the process. PNAU continue to collaborate with some of the biggest artists around the world, being sought out for their unique artistry and production skills. In 2022 alone, PNAU contributed to the ELVIS soundtrack with ‘Don’t Fly Away’, remixed Diana Ross and Tame Impala’s track ‘Turn Up The Sunshine’ and also remixed Lizzo’s track ‘2 Be Loved’. This past year has seen PNAU usher in a new era with collaborators like Khalid (‘The Hard Way’), Bebe Rexha and Ozuna (‘Stars’), and fellow Aussie Troye Sivan, with their collab ‘You Know What I Need’ being nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Dance Release to add to PNAU’s previous ARIA Award wins for ‘Chameleon’, ‘Go Bang’ and their debut album Sambanova.
Multi-platinum selling alt-electro pioneers Empire Of The Sun have been making waves across the world with phenomenal live shows and anthemic smash hits for over a decade, as one of Australia’s most successful musical exports. In 2008, Empire of the Sun released their debut album, Walking On A Dream, which the musicians described as "a spiritual road movie". The album went platinum in Australia and the title track became a hit single across the globe. After time spent touring, the duo regrouped in the studio to work on their second album. The disco-pop Ice On The Dune was released in 2013, after which the band toured the world. They spent a large chunk of the next year writing and recording their third album in Los Angeles and Hawaii, welcoming guests like Lindsey Buckingham, members of David Bowie's band from the Blackstar sessions, and Wendy Melvoin from Prince & the Revolution. Two Vines was issued in October 2016, climbing into the Australian top ten and peaking just outside the Billboard Top 50. #WalkingOnADream has three billion views on TikTok thanks to a viral challenge inspired by the song, with Wiz Whalifa also sampling the song for his track ‘The Thrill’. ‘AEIOU’ is the first taste of new music from Empire of the Sun in over seven years, with more releases to come soon.
‘AEIOU’ will feature on PNAU’s upcoming sixth studio album, Hyperbolic, set to drop in early 2024.
Catch PNAU delivering their electrifying live show around Australia this summer and get ready to chant ‘AEIOU’!