The Naked and Famous

the “young blood” band grows up…sort of.

by liza darwin

Remember when The Naked and Famous first burst upon the music scene way back in 2010? It might've been more than three years ago when "Young Blood" crossed our radars, but the New Zealand quintet's breakout anthem is still just as exhilarating, fun, and so damn catchy now as it was then. It never gets old or feels tired, and that is exactly what makes the song so special. But after spending the past few years touring the world and spreading their twinkly indie pop sound to the masses, the band is back with a new album. 

In Rolling Waves, which dropped on Tuesday, showcases everything about The Naked and Famous that we already adore--like lead singer  Alisa Xayalith's pure vocals, plenty of throbbing electro beats and soaring synths-- but this time they've ditched a little bit of the innocence that they first showcased in Passive Me, Aggressive You. It's slightly older and wiser, not too wise (because then that wouldn't be exciting!). The group heads back on tour soon, but before that happens, we got the scoop from Xayalith on growing up, lessons from the road, and why dyeing her hair silver was the best decision ever.

So you guys are about to go back on tour soon. How does that feel? 

It actually feels sort of stressful, mostly because I'm accumulated so much stuff here in LA! I'm thinking about just cramming all my stuff into a suitcase; it's tough because after dealing with summer pretty much all the time, I have to worry about the seasons. I'm excited, though, because I can't wait for everyone to finally hear the album. 

What's the hardest part about being on tour for so long?

I've toured a bunch before, but not for this long yet. I'll be gone a year and a half, so I need to make sure I'm in the headspace of living like a nomad. Thinking that it's OK to not be sentimental and not being afraid to throw out stuff. You have to be ready to flip that switch, because you also get tired, exhausted, and your diet goes out the window. [


What are some dos and don'ts you've learned from being on tour?

Do: Bring dry shampoo, wet wipes in the event that you can't have a shower.

Don'ts: This is really boring but I try not to eat too much junk food on the road. I try to keep in mind the saying HALT--it means hungry, angry, low, tired--that's what junk food makes me feel like. 

Your style has changed a lot since you guys were first starting out. What's the story behind that?

My hair has definitely changed! It used to be long and black, but I just dyed it silver and cut it short so now it's almost a pixie. I love it. In terms of clothes, I didn't really know what looked good on me; I was quite self conscious. Now I feel better about showing off my figure; but because I'm touring all the time I try to keep things timeless in terms of the cut and color palette. I've also changed into a woman who embraces lipstick. So adult. [


] MAC's Ruby Woo is amazing.

What other clothes do you always bring on the road?

I can't live without boots with a heel; I recently bought these amazing brogues from Opening Ceremony with a little heel and I'm obsessed. I wear tons of black so I like to break it up with footwear and jewelry. I'm bringing this hat with me; it's by a brand called Shade and Slouch. I learned about it from the bass player from the Dum Dum Girls, and I knew I had to have it. 

I know that choosing your favorite song off the album is like choosing your favorite child, but if you had to--which song would you pick?

I'm really fond of the song "I Kill Giants."  It's actually about me losing my mother when I was about seven years old; I started writing it several years ago but I felt like I wasn't ready to release it in the world yet. But then I found a graphic novel by Joe Kelly of the same name, and discovering this prompted me to finish the song for this record. I'm so glad I did. 

Watch the video for "Hearts Like Ours" below and 

check out tour dates for The Naked and Famous here