DREAMS are a super-duo of sorts, the brainchild of Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele and Silverchair’s Daniel Johns. While the two speak like they have never left their native Australia, Steele has been an Angeleno for a long minute and Johns splits his time between here and Down Under.
It’s not unexpected that theatrics is one of the driving forces of DREAMS, with Steele referring to himself as “Miracle” and Johns as “Dr. Dreams” for this project, on which they share vocal duties. Outrageous glam-punk get-ups and makeup, including Johns’ one white (or blue or green) contact lens, keep you riveted to the visual aspect, but what you’ll walk away with is their highly danceable, super-sticky, deceptively simple blend of electrified pop. This is exemplified in the video for the first single, “No One Defeats Us,” which premiered Monday.
Shot in DTLA against a backdrop of graffitied walls, bridges and underpasses, and the Los Angeles River, Steele and Johns posture with enviable swagger, the former in a hooded white suit that looks as if it would be put to better use on the moon, the latter bare-chested and gaunt in a white spotted fur coat with what looks like disembodied animal tongues hanging from it. The indoor shots are in what could be a high-ceilinged, two-story semi-abandoned warehouse with many dirty windows. Both brandishing baseball bats menacingly, Steele is now in his all-black DREAMS suit, which includes a studded jacket with the logo across the back. This logo is also tattooed on Johns’ neck with the accompanying scorpion on his chest, which brings up the desperate need that this project better work out, otherwise we hope those tattoos are temporary body art.
Admittedly DREAMS will be more readily accepted by Empire of the Sun fans than those of Silverchair, but that doesn’t take anything away from the polished, hyper-catchiness of the songs. DREAMS will be making their high drama live debut at Coachella on Friday, April 13.