There's no one who blends indie rock and electronic pop quite like The Naked & Famous. Their style is unmatchable in its swagger and energy. Their third record Simple Forms is due in October, and serves as the follow up to 2013's In Rolling Waves. Simple Forms seems to be taking a more upbeat direction than the somber tones of its predecessor. The second single from the album 'Laid Low' promises a big album is on the way.
Right from the beginning you know something different is on the way. It has a huge drum beat that serves as a highlight in itself; it's big and upbeat, exactly what the track is going for. The synths build a chill atmosphere as the synth riff brings in the lyrics. The choruses are subdued with reverberating synths with vocalist Alisa Xayalith sounding powerful, begging for saving: "Know that you can take me home / I'm learning to live with ghosts / the limbs I miss the most." The song's climax comes with several vocal lines singing at the same time on top of an explosive instrumental, building up before it concludes.
The song itself is about becoming tired of life, and missing what you had in the past when life's bringing you down. The lines "Laid low by heart ache / I'm trying to stay afloat." The way the song explodes at the end feels compassionate and so final; like you finally got what you've wanted through the story of the song. The lyric video shows a variety of scenes, the main focus is a woman running from a car. Like a deer in headlights she runs from it - that feeling of standing out and being afraid capturing what the song wants to be saved from. A variety of other scenes, including a burning rose, also make up the video, providing metaphors for love and the monotony of life.
The Naked & Famous have a big album in store. The previous single 'Higher' also has a similarly upbeat sound to it - this album's going to be fun. Simple Forms is out in October, but 'Laid Low' will be on repeat for the month to come yet. The hype couldn't be bigger. New Zealand's finest electronic group is about to make 2016 their own.
Rating: 85 / 100