Album Review: The Naked And Famous – In Rolling Waves

In 2010, The Naked And Famous ransacked my car stereo with their hit single “Young Blood” – I instantly fell in love. I went on to see them live several times. Passive Me Aggressive You is one of my favorite albums of the past few years. What is more, I continue to hold “Punching In A Dream” as one of my favorite tracks ever. It is EPIC.

Fandome aside, it is hard to argue with how successful the New Zealand quintet’s first full length album was. “Young Blood,” “Punching In A Dream,” and “Girls Like You” saw more than their fair share of radio time, made their way into several commercials and were handpicked to be a part of the massively successful movie The Art Of Flight. I highly recommend treating your eyes and ears to the masterpiece, but this is about music, right? Whatever success The Naked And Famous have already seen, is only the tip of the iceberg. 

In Rolling Waves is a thrill ride that will give you goosebumps from beginning to end. That’s what The Naked And Famous are great at. Their music takes you on dynamic journey through processed and robotic vocals, synths heavy with LFO’s and little attack, and epic soaring harmonies. The drum recordings are the icing on the cake. Where other bands might drop to an acapella, The Naked And Famous allow for crisp drum solos. It’s hard not to see the incredible effort and passion that went into this album. It’s inspiring. Every aspect.

Key Tracks: Hearts Like Ours,” “Waltz,” “Grow Old,” and “I Kill Giants”


While you get the hit singles with “Hearts Like Ours,” “Waltz,” and “I Kill Giants,” what grabs my attention most about this album are the building tracks like “Grow Old” and “To Move With Purpose.” There is no fluff here. One could say “more singles!” or “the tracks are too long!” But that’s the point. This isn’t meant for the mainstream. The Naked And Famous could have easily made an album in the key of “Young Blood,” but they didn’t. They made a second full length album like the first never happened. This feels like a hungry young band trying to break into the mainstream all over again. That is what makes In Rolling Waves so good.

– Joseph Noga
Account Executive, Education | FirstCom Music

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