High and Low (Empire of the Sun song)

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"High and Low"
Single by Empire of the Sun
from the album Two Vines
Released24 August 2016 (24 August 2016)
  • Empire of the Sun
  • Peter Mayes
  • Donnie Sloan
Empire of the Sun singles chronology
"High and Low"
"To Her Door"

"High and Low" is a song by Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun. It was released in 24 August 2016 as the lead single from their third studio album, Two Vines.

Group member Nick Littlemore gave details of the track during its premiere on American radio station KROQ, saying "It was about this girl I knew when I was a kid, named Alice D, who was a bit of a wild child. She did all sorts of crazy things. We wanted to write a song that captured the innocence and bravery of youth...being a teenager, having the experience of throwing caution to the wind and trying wild things for the first time."[1] (Some fans have interpreted "Alice D" as a play on LSD, but the group members insist that such is far from the case.)

The song features on a Holden commercial airing during the eighth season of The X Factor Australia and features host Jason Dundas.[2] This song was also featured in EA Sports game, FIFA 17, and Danish series The Rain as soundtrack. The song is also featured in TV commercials for San Pellegrino sparkling water.

Additional remixes were released in October 2016.

Critical reception[edit]

Ryan Reed from Rolling Stone described the song as "pulsating", adding; "Acoustic guitar chords give way to booming synth-pads on the chorus, as singer Luke Steele sings wistfully: 'If I had my way/ Never let you go.'"[3]

Collin Robinson from Stereogum described the song as "a slow-building slice of euphoria with big drums, grand synths, and swishing ambient sweeps."[4]

Lars Brandle of Billboard described the song as "a straight-up party tune which flows with melodies, synths and good times."[5]

Track listings[edit]

Digital download
1."High and Low"3:45
Digital download[6]
1."High and Low" (Hayden James remix)4:38
Digital download[7]
1."High and Low" (Tommy Trash remix)4:17



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[14] Gold 35,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Hear Empire Of The Sun's Catchy New Single 'High And Low'". Emma Mack. Music Feeds. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Empire Of The Sun make magic with Fleetwood Mac, Prince and David Bowie star musicians". news.com.au. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Hear Empire of the Sun's 80s inspired song "High and Low"". Ryan Reen. Rolling Stone. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Empire Of The Sun – "High And Low"". Collin Robinson. Stereo Gum. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Empire of the Sun Goes Tripping On New Track 'High and Low': Listen". Lars Brandle. Billboard. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  6. ^ "High and Low Hayden James remix". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  7. ^ "High and Low Tommy Trash remix". iTunes Australia. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  8. ^ "CHART WATCH #386". auspOp. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Empire of the Sun Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Empire of the Sun Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Empire of the Sun Chart History (Hot Dance/Electronic Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Hot Dance/Electronic Songs – Year-End 2016". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  13. ^ "Hot Dance/Electronic Songs – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  14. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2017 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2018.