Friday, August 12, 2011

Solid Ground

Song: Solid Ground
Artist: Pnau
Album: Soft Universe

Well readers... I've just had my mind blown doing research this AM about Pnau, a band I didn't really know at all but have been listening to, and enjoying their latest album, "Soft Universe" for a couple weeks. So I got the album just before I got the Foster the People album and was surprised at how much both bands reminded me of Australia's Empire of the Sun, which got me wondering when on earth they'd be releasing some new material.  Regardless, I was digging these two new albums from what I assumed were new bands.  Well Foster the People, who I mentioned sounded less and less like Empire to me the more I listened, are enjoying some success with the song I highlighted on Monday, "Pumped Up Kicks" from their debut.  (I was surprised to see them in the top ten of the iTunes chart on Tuesday just after I highlighted them, getting more notice than I's realized.)  Friend and reader Jeff just saw them last night opening up for Cut Copy in Prospect Park... so I'm interested in hearing how they were.

But about Pnau...

I took another listen to "Soft Universe" yesterday as I knew I wanted to highlight the album as the last of the week.  Well, I realized how much I really liked it and unlike Foster the People, the more I listened to Pnau, the more I did think they sounded like Empire of the Sun.  So this AM as I decide to read up about the band I find out they are a duo from Australia, (Nick Littlemore & Peter Hayes) they formed in 2009, this is actually their fourth album, and one-half of the duo is Nick Littlemore... who is half of Empire of the Sun. WHAT?!?!?  [mind blown]

So Pnau has the huge history in Australia, and their self-titled release from 2007 garnered the praise of Elton John, who called it one of the best records of the decade.  One of the songs, "With You Forever" was co-written with friend and collaborator Luke Steele.  After the success of "Pnau,"  Littlemore began working with Steele on a side project which became... Empire of the Sun.  Back in 2009, in regards to Empire of the Sun, it seemed Littlemore had dissapeared... but it turned out he was working on a new Pnau album with Elton John.  Hence... "Soft Universe."  [again, mind blown]

So this all comes together for me... and "Soft Universe" is actually pretty great.  It is very Empire of the Sun, so if you're a fan of that band and you, like me, have never heard of Pnau you must check this out.  (I'm going back to check out their earlier material, especially the self-titled album.)  My absolute favorite tracks are single "Solid Ground," "Unite Us" and the whistle-filled "Epic Fail."  They crackle with the catchy electro-pop sound of Empire with a little less weird.  I really really like it.

I'm recommending this album though am not going to get into too much detail about it as I've already rambled on enough.  I still sort of can't get over that this is the Empire of the Sun guy... but good to know as I assume a new Empire record is much further down the line now.  If at all...


Solid Ground
Epic Fail
The Truth

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