Band of the Week: The Naked And Famous

I love it when bands get it.

This is a specialty band of the week post, but really it could be qualified as a Claire-is-very-excited post.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m addicted to social media. I’m not the fastest, most immediate person when it comes to catching onto a fad, though – I like to let other people test the waters first and then jump in when a strong following of the app or website has been established. This needs to change though, because people’s social media obsessions are fun, funny, and when done right, relevant. And companies, businesses, and creators are taking note of how to work social media to their advantage.

In the world of music, I am specifically talking about The Naked And Famous and Snapchat. You’d never really put the two together, now would you? But a few days ago, the band announced that if you friended them on this particularly fun app (and by “fun” I mean it as a warning – be careful if you haven’t gotten into it yet because you will end up sending your friends pointless snaps at least three times a day), they would send you a surprise.

A surprise you say? I giddily thought. I mulled over the decision to friend them in a matter of milliseconds. I immediately snapped them and waited for the surprise response.

They answered back. It was a video. It was a video of them mixing their new album.

It was genius.

And, it wasn’t a short-term endeavor either. Since last week, I’ve gotten a couple of snaps of various videos from the band working on their new album. It’s a personal, intimate and exciting way of marketing their new album.

Not only that, but the band is very well managed and represented on other forms of social media, such as Twitter, Tumblr, etc., and have also utilized hashtags appropriately (e.g. #TNAFSnap). They even have a new live film out, One Temporary Escape, which they’ve let fans be able to stream and download for free. They’re completely catering towards their audience, and it’s exciting. Why? Because not every band does this, but more and more are learning to do this.

They also do a fantastic job of standardizing designs – not only with their EPs, but with their different pages and photographs as well.

Aside from their fun social media maneuvers, I am truly delighted by The Naked And Famous as musicians. I really, really hope I get to see them on tour this winter. I sometimes forget that they only have one studio length album (which is a must-listen, by the way). While their EPs No Light and This Machine display their potential as a band, their LP, Passive Me, Aggressive You, is where they grab hold of that potential and really make something with it. Is the album perfect? No, there are times where songs can feel a bit repetitive. But there are some tracks on the album that stick out and really sort of hit a deep, personal chord.

Girls Like You was a song I listened to as winter was finally turning to spring. I’d put in on as I would run on the sidewalk, one straight line away from my dorm to the end of the street. On my left side were frat houses and residential apartments and businesses. Further down, along my right side, there was a beautiful cemetery with paths and trees and hills and the scene extended into the horizon. One day, I ran at sunset, and the air was a little crisper than normal. I put on Girls Like You and I could just feel my body get into a rhythm along with the song. I took in the colors and the shades of the sky and how the clouds seemed to touched the ground. The song faded and I stopped at the end of the sidewalk. I stood there and just let the moment sink in.

I did the same sort of thing in Central Park last week with the same song.

You can’t really do that to every song. It’s nice to find those songs that can act as “a soundtrack to your own life,” to speak in cliched terms. Despite the cliche, I really mean that – sometimes a song just fits a moment. You don’t need to have an extensive reason (but sometimes you do). It feels right and it works.

Also, they just have some really fun songs. All Of This is catchy and cool, and of course we all love Young Blood.

It’s bands like these that make me excited, and not feel hopeless or pessimistic (which I constantly hear people talk like this), about the way in which music is shaping and shifting to today’s society.

Track of Choice: Girls Like You

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