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The Naked And Famous - In Rolling Waves Album Review

04 Mar 2014 // A review by Ria Loveder

The television was tuned in to Juice TV as I stood by the sink doing the dishes. The tunes of songs came travelling through when my ears picked up something that both fascinated and puzzled me.

I wandered into the lounge, tea towel in hand to find a beautifully choreographed music video and a melody that instantly had me captivated. The song was I Kill Giants, by The Naked and Famous. A four minute and 12 second song that can hold someone’s attention with only the use of eight sentences of lyrics.

That afternoon I wandered into the Warehouse and bought their second album, In Rolling Waves. A fan was born.

The opening song is titled A Stillness, which is anything but. The use of acoustic guitar and electronic accompaniment, two sounds that before I may have thought not to suit, are blended perfectly to create a song that is a build-up of powerful resonating music. The end of the piece is a crescendo of sound that traps you, in the best possible way. There is no escaping the acceleration in tempo or volume. The melody is one that engulfs and captivates. In all honesty it is song that you want to turn up loud and get lost in.

Grow Old is a song that tells the difficulties of growing up. The introduction is a keyboard playing an almost music box tune representing childhood and youthfulness. The contrasts in this song are woven in by the wonderful voices of Thomas Powers and Alisa Xayalith. With Powers playing the role of the almost regretful, guilty character and Xayalith the innocent and adolescent. The undertone of this song seems to be anger, but also a sense of accepting ones fate, capturing the beauty and pain of life’s moments. My personal opinion is that it would have been an excellent soundtrack song to the The Lovely Bones, capturing Susie’s frustration of not being able to grow older.

Number ten on the album is named We Are Leaving. A song about a woman talking to her ex-partner, pointing out his flaws. Xayalith’s voice, although calm and serene also has a tone of distaste and loathing which the lyrics portray perfectly. The chorus is a beautiful blend of harmonies, with Powers accompanying for a choir like sound. The choir is interrupted by abrupt percussion and electric guitar, which leads to intriguing listening. This song is the epitome of mixed emotions and confusion. A beautifully constructed song both lyrically and musically.

All in all I believe this a fabulous album. The three years between their first album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, and Rolling Waves has been used to its full advantage. Creating a fabulously ambient album that uses space and silence as well as sound. It captures emotions from everyday life and turns it into a rollercoaster ride, taking you through memory lane.

This album happens to be one of my favourites and my love for it cannot be expressed enough. I am also extremely excited that The Naked and Famous will be gracing us with their presence on Friday the 16th of May at the Powerstation, which if their music is anything to go by, is going to be truly fantastic experience.

In Rolling Waves
View Track Listing

About The Naked And Famous

Beyond a life hardwired to pop culture via the 24 hour news feed, The Naked And Famous elicit a romantic connection inspired by the golden era of alternative rock; a shared response to a teenage soundtrack of epic, emotionally charged mid nineties music.

Released in March 2011, their ambitious debut Passive Me, Aggressive You featured the singles, Young Blood and Punching In A Dream. Lauded by the NME, it was “A classic case of lovely and beautiful: TNAF’s passive melodicism and aggressive innovation clash in a dazzling blaze of psych/sonic fireworks” and Rolling Stone magazine described Young Blood as one of the year’s “best singles”.

Fronted by Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers, The Naked and Famous lit a fire under an online fan base, with a video subculture built through YouTube and into radio. M83 invited TNAF to remix a single and a Tiesto remix transformed Young Blood into a club smash. Agencies fell into The Naked and Famous slipstream, and theirs became the go-to soundtrack for gaming, Hollywood and TV shows mining a zeitgeist of young and interesting.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Naked And Famous


Year: 2020
Type: Album
In Rolling Waves
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Passive You, Agressive Me
Year: 2010
Type: Album
This Machine
Year: 2008
Type: EP
No Light
Year: 2008
Type: EP

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