When band mates and co-founders of The Naked and Famous Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers decided to split-up, the synth pop band almost ceased to exist.
“We kind of had to power through it. Everyone was emotionally depleted and broken, but we put those feelings into our music,” Xayalith recalls.
The band took its cynical tongue-in-cheek name from the well-known English trip hop artist, Tricky, while Xayalith and Powers were attending the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ) in Auckland.
“We thought it was a pretty funny name. Being in New Zealand, we had no idea that we would ever be touring around the world and be this big, so at the time we went with a really sarcastic name.”
Their song “Young Blood,” from the debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You, debuted at number one on the New Zealand singles chart and eventually went viral around the world.
Teenagers all around the world now had a summer anthem for 2010 and it came from a little band from New Zealand.
“It’s funny because our only goal when we started the band was to reach the top 10 in New Zealand with one of our songs. We had no idea or spirit that we would actually be able to have a career,” Xayalith says, laughing.
“Young Blood” gave The Naked and Famous the opportunity to move to Los Angeles where they now reside and make music full-time.
After releasing their sophomore album In Rolling Waves in 2013 and touring to support it, the band decided to take a much-needed break.
All of the relationships with the band were slightly fragmented when they came off tour. This eventually became a catalyst to Xayalith and Powers’ break up.
This may have seemed like the end for fans.
On the contrary, going through that experience inspired the creation of the bands upcoming album Simple Forms —which will be released on October 14.
“I think this is our most important record to date,” Xayalith says. “We kind of took all of our favourite pop elements and put them in this album. We also realized we can over come anything and that we all still love each other. We made it work and we made it happen.”
Sun, Sept 3
Borden Park, $99.50 – $179.50