My Favorite Songs: Empire of the Sun, ‘Swordfish Hotkiss Night’

I love me some good, ordinary-type music. But there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the weird stuff. My affinity for the musically strange may have been sparked by an introduction in my youth to Frank Zappa’s zany tunes. It’s a love that burns to this day, and I’m still known to every so often drop lines from “Muffin Man” when I get the urge.

When a friend of mine introduced me to Empire of the Sun, I found the band’s upbeat “Walking on a Dream” to be deliciously fun and catchy. The Australian pop duo’s 2008 album of the same name called to me, and I listened. But buried between the disc’s generally conventional electro beats lay one song that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of unusualness.

Swordfish Hotkiss Night – Empire of the Sun

It’s not the band’s only foray into Wackytown, but it’s certainly the one that goes deepest. From the dripping synths to the deep vocal bellows that lay down the tempo, this song has the sounds of something conceived under the influence (of what, I dare not hazard a guess). Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed the title, and I’ll bet even Beck Hansen couldn’t decipher most of these lyrics: “Hotdog belt, doughnut melt, magpie knelt by itself, monster goons, magnet moves, diamonds in a harlot douche.” At least that seems to be the consensus.

Imagine if I did that kind of stuff in my writing. Pear sparkle pants bone, kitty bangle soup phone. Tissue glass, mailbox radar floss hair. Yeah, I think I can get into it.


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