This is my theme song for the time being and the upcoming summer: "Standing on the Shore" by Empire of the Sun. For me, it's this year's "Time to Pretend." Catchy as hell, but in a more nuanced and less bombastic sort of way. Whereas "Time to Pretend" has an old-school funk to it, "Standing on the Shore" is more new wavy. (Think Modern Talking. Or am I the only one who remembers Modern Talking?)
It's been on heavy rotation on my iPod for a few weeks now, and I don't think that I'm close to taking it off. I listen to it and picture, again, Robert Downey, Jr. cruising about L.A. late at night in a convertible with the top down -- much as I did when I first heard "Daniel." It's not that I'm a big fan of Less Than Zero; I've never even watched the movie all the way through. But it seems to be a convenient reference point for a sense of brooding. (I suppose the next logical question might be why I'm so taken by songs that evoke a sense of brooding. Let's figure that out another day.)
It's hard to listen to Empire of the Sun and not think of MGMT. But aside from the vocals, I think that the similarities in sound result only from a shared sense of flair. MGMT is more of a rock band (with guitars and bandannas) whereas Empire of the Sun is more of a synth band. But both like to get disco-y every now and then, sounding almost Bee Gees-ish with high-pitched vocals and thump-thump bass lines.
They're Australian, as are Cut Copy, Ladyhawke and Cut Off Your Hands (well, New Zealanders on an Australian label, so close enough). Perhaps Australia is on its way to becoming the next Sweden in terms of being a reliable source of indie goodness.