When the world first became aware of The Naked And Famous it was easy to dismiss them as all style and no substance. Their breakthrough single Young Blood was an infectious shot of over-produced indie rock that bypassed any cerebral functions and aimed straight for your hind-brain. The metronomic rhythm section, the distorted primary-colours synth hook, the “oh-yeah-a-yeah-a-yeah-a-yeah”s all hinted at a future career full of advertising synchs and drivetime radio appearances.
Their album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, conformed to expectations in many ways, but it turned out there was more to it than many of us had predicted. For starters, I'm still listening to it fairly regularly even now, a few years later. In my experience bands with the kind of sound The Naked And Famous were peddling often outstay their welcome pretty quickly – after a first flush of excitement, the punchy production that made the music so accessible in the first place becomes too thin, too predictable, too boring to withstand repeated listens. Passive Me, Aggressive You had all those traits in spades, but somehow made them work far beyond the honeymoon period.
This week the band have announced they'll be releasing a new album in the autumn – In Rolling Waves comes out on the 16th September. There's already a track available for download on iTunes – Waltz, which I can only describe as a low key disco ballad (it's a little better than that makes it sound, but not by much) – but the real excitement comes from the next single, Hearts Like Ours. This one is officially released on September 9th, but can be streamed on Soundcloud right now. This one is The Naked And Famous at their best; perhaps not as hooky as Young Blood, but the overall sound is practically identical to that which held my attention so thoroughly since their debut album came out. If the rest of In Rolling Waves is more like Hearts Like Ours and less like Waltz then we could have a very exciting album on our hands.