It’s easy (and often enjoyable) for seasoned audiophiles to dismiss the modern wave of synth-addled, remixed indie pop as nothing more than extravagant servings of technological glitter and Mac-aided deception.
A prime candidate for this set’s selective ire: Auckland, New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous. Resplendent with the cavalcade of percussive pops and buzzes that have typified tracks from contemporaries like Passion Pit, the quintet may sound to some as a studio creation meant to meld with millennial tastes and tapered jeans.
But to dismiss the band as a mere product of a meticulously manicured sonic trend would be an insult to the genuine skill of its songs’ construction and vocals, exemplified by lead singer Alisa Xayalith. Strip away the layers of synths and snare hits on recent singles like “Higher” and listeners are left with the uplifting or, dependent on the verse, elegiac voice of Xayalith.
With nothing more than lyrics and a microphone, the vocalist adds genuine spirituality to tracks that could be lost amid a Spotify playlist crafted for hipster canoodling—and this is an important distinction.
No matter genre predilections, even the most grizzled listener can’t deny the genuine beauty of the naked voice.
The Naked and Famous will perform with Humble Braggers at 8 p.m. June 12 in Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29.50-$34 (box office, Ticketfly).