H3000, the new musical collaboration from Luke Steele (Empire Of The Sun, The Sleepy Jackson) and Jarrad Rogers (Charli XCX, Lana Del Rey), announces the release of their cosmic self-titled debut album. Set for September 17 release via Astralwerks, H3000 contains songs of love, loss, and camaraderie that channel tragedy into brilliant, affirming hope.
The duo has also shared the track “Running” and the accompanying video. Transportive and strange, “Running” reveals the darker side of H3000’s work. A slow-brewing storm of a song, it sees Steele reflecting on the loss of a friend — and the internal strength that builds in the wake of a tragedy — over Rogers’ gossamer, awe-inspiring production.
Luke Steele explains, “Words are very powerful; they hold poison or peace, hope or heartbreak. The song “Running” talks about taming the tongue and understanding the strength it has.”
Jarrad Rogers adds, “‘Running’ is one of the most personal songs on the record. “Running” is special to me because it was one of the first records Luke and I collaborated on. I still remember getting a rough vocal through from Luke, pressing play, and by the time I’d heard the chorus, I was in such awe that I’d thrown my phone to the other side of the room.”
In the official video for “Running,” Andrew van der Westhuyzen and the team at Collider drop Steele and Rogers into a visually sublime futuristic world, which was built entirely in Unreal Engine, a gaming software. A playable version of Planet 3000, H3000’s visual world, will be made available soon on Twitch.
“When I listened to “Running,” it immediately conjured up epic, expansive landscapes — endless and formidable, the two figures dwarfed in the sheer scale,” says Andrew van der West. “The game worlds of today are far more real, rich and breathtaking — giving cinema a run for its money. The H3000 world was built entirely in Unreal, a game engine developed by Epic Games, famous for old school classics like ‘Quake,’ and most recently the wildly successful ‘Fortnite.’”
“Running” is the second track to be released from H3000. It follows “July Heat,” which Billboard named as one of the best new dance tracks, noting, “Together [Luke Steele and Jarrad Rogers] conjure the futuristic vibes of the year 3000, with their first single ‘July Heat’ giving an optimistic vision of the far-off future. The vocals are pitched up to robot level, and the track is a dually spare and brightly glitchy amalgamation that’s altogether sleek as the chrome on your hovercraft.”
The two artists met in Steele’s adopted hometown of Los Angeles. Recalls Steele, “It was the start of summer in California, which is always such a great time. We just connected. The band is about the heavens and what will be the issues of the heart in the year 3000.”
That connection in the spirit is present across the entire album, each song a hypnotic synthesis of pop, electronic music, and classic song writing that plays like a world unto itself. Steele channels a vision beyond the screen into breathtaking lyrics and melody. Rogers is a perfect yang to Steele’s yin, adding a grounding physicality to Steele’s unmoored writing. A sublime union in the mold of Bowie and Eno or Tennant and Lowe, there’s something more than the sum of its parts here, an alchemical spark that’s easy to hear but hard to describe.
Whether that’s to the fragility of the human heart, a transformative tragedy or the love of the strange, H3000 comes about from a chance encounter and a musical world yet to be explored. Join “LUKE 18” and “MSTR ROGERS” on this transcendental journey as they take on the year 3000 together.
H3000 is out on September 17 and is available for pre-order.