The Naked And Famous – In Rolling Waves

September 24, 2013

The kiwi quintets second serving brings together The Joy Formidable’s anthemic female-led pop hits and Brandon Flowers’ darkest fizzing synths. With its dark sound and lyrical content, it feels like it could be a part of the Twilight soundtrack.

The massive modern-LA production makes this album ready for the masses.

In Rolling Waves shows a matured sound, brought on by 2 years of incessant touring and their relocation to LA. Gone are the twangy guitars and angst-ridden vocals. Now we have a sub-base which will soothe the eardrums of bass-craving Beats owners worldwide. This album is ready to serve as your nighttime synth-pop guilty pleasure.

On first listen it seemed to follow the trend of dark synth-pop coupled with songs about heartbreak and self discovery; great; but a skim of the surface uncovers a groundswell of depth. The opening track, A Stillness takes you on a genre-defying crescendo of sirens, saw tooth synths, acoustic guitars, finished off with Nine Inch Nails-like distortion and, all the while, Alisa Xayaliths soft vocals float around your ears. Hearts Like Ours screams festival ready, and holds all the key ingredients; triumphant chorus, plenty of ahhhhing backing vocals, memorable chorus lyrics and head bobbing rhythms that will surely see the band promoted from NME tent to the main stage.

This album is more that just this solid sound. What We Want is a toned-down Calvin Harris decorated with reverb-drowned snare hits and claps coupled with bright acoustic guitar reminiscent of The Cure throughout. It then breaks down to just Alisa Xayalith, Thom Powers and an acoustic guitar. This shows a band that have not forgotten their roots. Sections like this very honest breakdown separates this album from being one long electronic offering.

The Naked And Famous arent yet the finished article. In Rolling Waves feels like a beginning and, though its not littered with hits and isn’t lyrically magnificent, its a great effort of self-discovery. Like a well-crafted movie trailer, it leaves you wanting to know more. The band have promised that this album was written with it being performed in mind, and Im craving their autumnal UK tour.


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