The Naked and Famous
By his own admission, Thom Powers, guitarist/vocalist in the Naked and Famous, has been part of several "terrible, terrible bands." By the time he helped to form the fresh-faced five-piece who have effectively become New Zealand's great white indie-rock hope in 2007, Powers's tastes had changed considerably. After leaving high school, Powers says, he grew interested in "alternative music and new artists," listing playful New Zealand power-poppers the Mint Chicks and TV on the Radio's Young Liars EP as major points of inspiration. Passive Me, Aggressive You, the Naked and Famous's debut full-length, came out in New Zealand in September 2010 and in the States this past March. As you'd guess, the album contains no hints of metal or hard rock; in fact, Powers's current act drifts between indie-rock and electro-pop. Passive Me is a grab bag of musical concepts: Synths build bouncy dance-floor melodies and go scratchy and angry; clipped beats mingle with a solemn piano; guitars revel in earthy, wide-open choruses. Powers shares vocal duties with Alisa Xayalith, creating malleable he/she, low/high dynamics. At this stage in the Naked and Famous's career, not having a particularly original or solid identity isn't so bad. Passive Me, Aggressive You is very much the product of a band in flux, with much of the appeal coming from guessing which ideas they will cling to and take forward.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.