Sparkling Kiwi psych-rockers exposed
Ones To Watch 2011 - The Naked And Famous

In an age where bands break online before they have even had chance to play their music to their flatmates, giving your band a search engine-friendly name is a pretty smart idea.

Thom Powers, lead singer of New Zealand triumphant electro-pop/ Google botherers The Naked And Famous, agrees: “I think a lot of my friends are actually disappointed when they search for us online and don’t find those images,” he laughs.

There is more to the band than candid snaps of celebrities though, as a Number One single in their home country goes to show. “We totally did not expect that to happen,” says co-vocalist Alisa Xayalith. “It was a total word-of-mouth thing that just became something massive. We never thought we could achieve something so great but it was amazing.”

The song which charmed The Naked And Famous’ native fan base is ‘Young Blood’, a euphoric carnival of sound and the band’s calling card. The track, which the band describe as “a lot of fun”, saw the Auckland act becoming the first act to top their native charts with a debut single in sixteen years. The success of the track sees the band bottle the spirit of MGMT’s ‘Kids’, shake it up and let it go in a fizzy burst of excitement. Inevitable comparisons to Passion Pit and the aforementioned MGMT greet the band regularly, which they take well. “It’s like being compared to a really hot girl,” jokes Powers. “If people think you’re similar to someone great then it can only be a compliment”.

- - -

- - -

The Naked And Famous insist there is more than one string to their bow however. “We all love heavy rock music and first bonded at a party when we all got to discussing Nine Inch Nails,” says Powers. The serrated aggression of Trent Reznor can be heard on The Naked And Famous’ debut album ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’, which ties their eclectic tastes together with a string of melody. The band are currently in the process of moving to London and joke that they have to look at flats in the area because “commuting from New Zealand is quite a journey”.

Having conquered New Zealand and with Britain now in their sights we probably shouldn’t expect to be hitting the Internet for nudity, as this band’s fame looks almost certain.

Words by David Renshaw
Photo by Toby Hudson

Where: Auckland, New Zealand
What: Electro-pop with a steel edge.
Unique Fact: The band’s motto is “belt and buckles”, a NZ phrase for ‘toughen up’.
Get 3 songs: ‘Young Blood’, ‘Punching In A Dream’, ‘All Of This’


Follow Clash: