In 2010, Auckland, New Zealand’s Thom Powers, Alisa Xayalith, Aaron Short, David Beadle, and Jesse Wood arrived at the forefront of the international indie pop scene with the sweltering The Naked and Famous debut, Passive Me, Aggressive You. Riding on the feverish heights reached by singles like Young Blood, Punching In A Dream and Girls Like You the album thrust the band into the limelight and onto the airwaves.
Touring incessantly, the band settled permanently in Los Angeles to create the follow-up, 2013’s In Rolling Waves. The sophomore effort cast a darker shadow over their sound, straying from the synch-heavy formula that had ripped up radio charts yet patiently showcasing their unique skill, talent, and scope as artists.
TNAF set off to tour In Rolling Waves but after just a few months on the road, there were storm clouds on the horizon. Alisa and Thom’s relationship was the foundation of the band. As they said, “We started writing songs for The Naked and Famous the moment we got together at age 18.” Eight years later, their relationship was in turmoil and soon so was the band.
“It was awful,” says David. “People were unraveling pretty fast. The shows were tight but no-one was in a good space. People were trying to get off the bus, dragging their suitcase down the road in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere! When the tour bus finally stopped, everyone made for the exit and didn’t look back.”
The tour ended, Thom and Alisa separated, and TNAF became a group in ambiguous and painful hiatus. For the next year they barely saw one other. Los Angeles is a big enough place to get lost in.
“We weren’t talking about whether we’d broken up the band because we were so broken as individuals,” says Aaron.
Every band has its leader and source creator. It’s no secret that Thom Powers drives this band.
“I have a constant fear of failure,” he says. “My childhood dream was to be a musician and I’m not about to take this for granted. I feel lucky to have fans. I wake up and feel like any moment that I’m not working is time wasted.”
So in early 2015, it was no real surprise to find a batch of new demos from Thom’s Echo Park home studio in the band dropbox and a first TNAF meet-up in many months was convened.For tour dates and more visit: thenakedandfamous.com/