the naked and famous

the naked and famous

 Auckland, Auckland, NZL
BandAlternativeRock

Having turned their alternative sound into a critical and commercial smash with recent New Zealand no.1 chart debuts for the single Young Blood and LP Passive Me Aggressive You, TNAF are now a blog sensation courted by labels and currently one of the hottest unsigned acts in the world

Biography


How do you go from being a bedroom recording outfit in Auckland to the top of the New Zealand charts and international airwaves in just two years?

Some might say it is just about writing and recording a song (in this case, the infectiously awesome chart topper, “Young Blood”) but on the eve of the release of their debut album Passive Me Aggressive You, if you ask the five members of the Naked And Famous, they will tell you that it just takes two years of do it yourself hard work with a few well chosen accomplices to help.

Incredibly, this album was largely recorded and entirely produced by the band of 21 to 23 year olds in their Auckland bedrooms. Loud stuff was tracked over a few days in a proper studio, The Lab, nestled under a Bollywood cinema in Mt Eden. After finishing recording, they handed the songs to Billy Bush (Garbage, Against Me!, Alanis Morrisette, Beck, Ash, Korn) to mix in his own LA studio, and he in turn passed them along to his trusted mastering engineers, The Lodge’s Emily Lazar and Joe Laporta in New York.

Then the Naked And Famous put the album out on their own label, Somewhat Damaged.

And Passive Me Aggressive You promptly made its debut at the number one spot in the NZ album chart in September 2010. Reviewers are saying “don’t watch this space, get into this space because this is one of the most exciting and vibrant and interesting albums of the year” (thanks cheeseontoast.co.nz for that one).

And it is time to wake up to a band, kind of out of that nowheresville suburbia that great alternative rock should come from, who have brought something really special to the party.

The Naked And Famous made their debut back in 2008 with two quietly achieving indie EPs. Last year, they made a play for NZ alternative track of the year with the brilliant single “All Of This”. Then they hit paydirt and two weeks at number one with “Young Blood”.

The Gold selling single was the first number one debut on the NZ singles chart for three years and the first kiwi song to do so since the early 1990s. It held off some big names in the chart battle and has already gone on to top the playlist and request lines at Australia’s Triple J, with UK’s Xfm and a whole host of international stations climbing on board.

Add in a seven inch release by Neon Gold in September and you have something special indeed.

In the early days, The Naked And Famous was a home studio concocted duo of Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith. The couple had chosen their attention grabbing name from a Tricky lyric and their EPs “This Machine” and “No Light” were a perfect pair of thoughtfully composed, beautifully packaged recordings. Collaborating on programming and production with another young musician, Aaron Short, they picked off elements of lush dreampop, brittle ambience and sparky electronic rock and made them into something that sounded fresh and very exciting to the hippest ears in the land.

In 2009, The Naked And Famous evolved into a solid quintet and were hard at work writing the thirty odd songs that were to be whittled down into their debut album. Bedroom studio antics and evolving duet-styled singing duties were still firmly in the hands of Thom and Alisa, while Aaron was now a fully contributing part of the songwriting machine. David Beadle (bass) and Jesse Wood (drums) had joined and the group was fleshing new songs and old into what was fast becoming a very impressive live and recording set-up.

The result of all that is Passive Me Aggressive You – an album that is exciting people all over the world. Living up to the latter part of their unusual moniker is definitely on the cards for The Naked And Famous.

Discography

This Machine EP (2008 - Roundtrip Mars)
No Light EP (2008 - Roundtrip Mars)
Young Blood 7" (2010 - Neon Gold)
Passive Me Aggressive You album (2010 - Somewhat Damaged)