Music Mondays: The Naked and Famous

"At first I felt insecure singing about something so infinitely painful and blatantly autobiographical," says Alisa Xayalith, one part of the Aukland-based group The Naked and Famous, "But now I’m more comfortable explaining that 'I Kill Giants' is a song about losing my mum to breast cancer as a young girl." Searing honesty coupled with bombastic synth-pop sounds are hallmarks of The Naked and Famous and only a couple of the reasons to delve further into this unique group of New Zealand musicians.

Formed in 2008, the band consists of Alisa Xayalith on vocals and keys, Thom Powers on vocals and guitar, Aaron Short on keys, Jesse Wood on drums, and David Beadle on bass. Passive Me, Aggressive You was the band's first studio album in 2010, sweeping nominations in several categories at the New Zealand Music Awards. By 2012, and after touring in more than 24 countries, performing more than 200 shows, the band settled in Los Angeles to work on new music. The result: 2013's In Rolling Waves


Known for a sound that is big, echoey, soaring, and haunting, The Naked and Famous have had their tunes featured on shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and True Blood. A recent concert review in The Guardian captured the essence of the band:

"Every song sounds as if it is a hair-trigger's distance from heightened drama and feels, cumulatively, a little exhausting, but the audience seem to relish being put through the wringer. Even before the quintet gets a chance to play Young Blood, the audience gives them an ovation of such length and volume they look a little embarrassed. It is perhaps the only time they look unassured all night."

Get up on The Naked and Famous' "I Kill Giants" and be sure to hop on over to I AM THAT GIRL's Music Monday playlist, updated each week!


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