The Naked and Famous
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The Naked and Famous
The Naked and Famous performing in October 2013
|Origin||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Associated acts||Kids of 88|
The Naked and Famous are an indie electronic band from Auckland, New Zealand, formed in 2007. The band currently consists of Alisa Xayalith (vocals, keyboards), Thom Powers (vocals, guitars), David Beadle (bass), and Luna Shadows (keyboards).
Xayalith (born 1986) is the daughter of Laotian refugees, and was born in Auckland, and raised together with a younger brother. Her father introduced her to his native folk music and at the age of 13, she taught herself guitar. Powers had been playing in local bands since an early age after he had been taught to play guitar by his father.
2007–2008: Early years
The band formed in 2008 when Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith were working on what formed two extended plays—This Machine and No Light—that they recorded with engineer Aaron Short, a fellow student at Auckland's MAINZ music college. The EPs were subsequently released on local independent label Round Trip Mars. Powers and Xayalith began performing live with Ben Knapp and Jordan Clark on bass and drums respectively, while Aaron Short became a performing member of the group. Knapp and Clark left the group in 2009 and were subsequently replaced with Jesse Wood and David Beadle.
2009–2011: Passive Me, Aggressive You
After recording "All of This", the group then set about recording the single "Young Blood" and their debut album, recording mostly at home and at Auckland studio The Lab. "Young Blood" debuted on the New Zealand chart at number one on 14 June 2010—the first New Zealand artist in three years to do so. The Naked and Famous released their debut studio album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, on 6 September 2010 on their own label, Somewhat Damaged. The album was produced by Thom Powers and Aaron Short, and mixed by Billy Bush.
In 2011, the band garnered six nominations at the New Zealand Music Awards for Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Best Group, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Best Alternative Album and the People's Choice Award. They were also nominated for the NZ On Air Best Music Video and won the MAINZ Best Engineer Award and the MAINZ Best Producer Award.
2012–2013: In Rolling Waves
The band settled in Los Angeles in mid-2012 after completing touring for Passive Me, Aggressive You. They had performed over 200 shows in 24 countries between 2010 and 2012. Sharing a home over the back of Laurel Canyon, they began work on writing and demoing their second album. Their intention was to record an album that could be played live, not relying on backing tracks—something the group had always eschewed.
Entering Los Angeles' Sunset Sound studio in March 2013 with engineer Billy Bush (who had mixed the previous album), they began the process of recording In Rolling Waves. The album sessions were completed in a month and then in June 2013, The Naked and Famous headed for London where Alan Moulder spent a month mixing the album at his Willesden studio, Assault and Battery. The album was mastered at Sterling Sound in New York by Joe LaPorta, who had also mastered Passive Me, Aggressive You, and was produced by Thom Powers with Aaron Short. Justin Meldal-Johnsen co-produced two tracks with Thom Powers.
2014–present: Simple Forms and fourth studio album
The Naked and Famous performed at Coachella in 2014. On 20 November 2014, the band announced that they had begun working on a third album. The band began tracking for the album in September 2015. In March 2016, they performed at the Wanderland Music and Arts Festival in Manila.
On 3 July 2016, the band announced their new single "Higher" would be released on 7 July. Upon the single's release, the band revealed that their third studio album, Simple Forms, was set to be released on 14 October 2016 via their label Somewhat Damaged in conjunction with Kobalt Label Services. On 24 August 2016, they released another single titled "Laid Low". The album was recorded at Powers' Echo Park studio and released as per the announcement.
The band released an acoustic compilation album titled A Still Heart on 9 March 2018, at which time they indicated that they were working on their fourth studio album. That same month, it was announced that founding member Aaron Short and Jesse Wood had departed the band. Following their departure, Luna Shadows joined the band on piano. The group released A Still Heart (Live) on 8 June 2018.
The Naked and Famous took their name from English musician Tricky's song "Tricky Kid", which is ambivalent about the notion of celebrity. In the song, Tricky quotes the line "everybody wants to be naked and famous", from The Presidents of the United States of America's song "Naked and Famous".
Awards and nominations
|2010||APRA Silver Scroll||"Young Blood"||Won|
|New Zealand Music Awards||Passive Me, Aggressive You||Critics' Choice Prize||Nominated|
|2011||Passive Me, Aggressive You||MAINZ Best Producers||Won|
|Passive Me, Aggressive You||MAINZ Best Engineers||Won|
|Passive Me, Aggressive You||Album of the Year||Won|
|Passive Me, Aggressive You||Best Alternative Album||Won|
|"Young Blood"||Single of the Year||Won|
|The Naked and Famous||Best Group||Won|
|The Naked and Famous||Breakthrough Artist||Won|
|The Naked and Famous||People's Choice Award||Nominated|
|Taite Music Prize||Passive Me, Aggressive You||Nominated|
|NME||The Naked & Famous||Phillip Hall Radar Award||Won|
|2014||New Zealand Music Awards||In Rolling Waves||Album Of The Year||Nominated|
|Hearts Like Ours||Single Of The Year||Nominated|
|Hearts Like Ours||Best Music Video||Won|
|The Naked & Famous||Best Group||Won|
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- "THE VNZMA 2011 FINALISTS". FOUR. 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
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- "The Naked And Famous – "What an honor to win Best Group at the NZVMA's last night. Sorry we couldn't be there New Zealand – very busy working on album #3"". Facebook. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
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- Hartmann, Graham (6 February 2017). "Blink-182 Reveal 2017 U.S. Tour Dates with The Naked and Famous + Waaves". Loudwire. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- "The Naked and Famous Announce March Release Date for A Still Heart". Pastemagazine.com.
- "The Naked and Famous Announce New Album A Still Heart". Pastemagazine.com.
- "A Still Heart by The Naked and Famous on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. 2 March 2018.
- "The bittersweet continues. Our stripped... – The Naked And Famous". Facebook. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
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- "The Naked And Famous". Facebook.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Kitty Empire (10 April 2011). "The Naked and Famous; Big Audio Dynamite – review". The Observer. London. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Sundae, Hugh (8 September 2010). "The Naked and Famous win APRA Silver Scroll". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- "Winner Found". New Zealand Music Awards. 2010. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2011 Winners" (Press release). New Zealand Music Awards. 4 November 2011.
- "Taite Music Prize 2011". IMNZ. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "NME Phillip Hall Radar Award 2011". Independent Music New Zealand. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- "New Zealand Music Award Winners 2014". Retrieved 20 May 2015.
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