High and Low

Album: Two Vines (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • Empire of the Sun's Nick Littlemore told KROQ's Kevin & Bean the story behind this slow-building euphoric song. "It was about this girl I knew when I was a kid called Alice D who was kind of a wild child. She did all kinds of crazy things," he explained. "There's an Australian film called The Year My Voice Broke, I don't know if you're familiar with it, but there's a girl in that that kind of lives a mysterious life. We wanted to write a song that captured the innocence and bravery of youth, and being a teenager, and having these kind of experiences where you throw caution to the wind and you try things for the first time."
  • Littlemore explained the song's meaning: "Imagination is something that we've always nurtured and promoted and however one achieves that ecstatic madness of being is fine," he said. "It can be love to some people, it can be taking a walk in nature, or it can be scaling the heights of a psychedelic experience. As artists we like to live on the edge. I guess this song is about finding some equilibrium there."
  • The chorus has a particular personal meaning to Luke Steele as it is a tribute to a friend who died from cancer. However, the Empire of the Sun vocalist told ABC Radio that the song can mean many different things, even for his band mate, Nick Littlemore.

    "I think that's what's beautiful about the songs of Empire, they take on so many different meanings for everyone a different way," he said. "I think Nick would have a whole other story on what it means to him as well, but I think that's what's great, 'cause sometimes we jump and change between who writes what lines, but he basically orchestrates most of the lines."

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