I doubt very much that you haven’t heard this band’s super-famous worldwide hit single “We Are Young” featuring the brilliant talent that is, Janelle Monáe, which topped the charts globally last year. However, what I doubt you do know is that Fun have been looming in the music chart for over some 10 years!
Ok, so maybe I’ve bent the truth a bit. Fun’s latest album – “Some Nights” topped the chart early in 2012, their first album, released in 2010, “Aim And Ignite” didn’t do so well in the charts compared to their sophomore – despite getting good reviews on each of the singles released from it. But, lead singer Nate Ruess has been releasing music since 2003 with the fairly unknown band named The Format. Guitarist Jack Antonoff has also been releasing music with his band Steel Train for the same amount of time. Multi-talented instrument player, Andrew Dost, has also been releasing music since 3 years before the others, too! So, to call this indie-pop band of 3, talented and experienced musicians, an overnight sensation would be, in all honesty, slightly ignorant.
I will admit I haven’t been a fan of them from the beginning; in fact I’ve only been a fan a few months. It seemed to me that the complete over-use of the song We Are Young, and it’s constant airplay, would mean that they would be just as manufactured as most of the hit-makers in the chart today… (best video at the EMA’s, look it up.) But, I was proved, and much to my dissatisfaction, wrong by one of my close friends who has said from the start that this band is “amazing!”
So, upon the recommendation that I listen to the 2012 hit album, I decided I had little to lose. Listening for the first time, I instantly recognised the first song, not including the theatrical intro, Some Nights. Fist pumping beats and a voice so brisk it lifts you off your feet; I was stomping around like Nate himself to this completely infectious track. The next song I nearly knew word for word, most everybody does. Yet when I stumbled upon tracks such as All Alright and Stars, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the songs. And to add to that, they actually meant something! This is when the penny dropped and I realised that Fun. are not a band moulded by the industry, rather they are a band here to tell a story.
Desperate for more material, I listened to the band’s first album – Aim And Ignite. This album seemed a little more immature compared to the second, but it is just as fun as it should be! Songs such as Walking The Dog and At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be) make me want to get up in the morning, with a smile on my face. However, songs like Be Calm and The Gambler help me to come back down to Earth and make the decisions that I have to make in life. I’m often in debate with myself as to which album I prefer, and I expect the entire fan base have these same disputes, but I’ve decided that I love them both the same – however cliché that may sound, it’s true.
Alas, I digged deeper. I listened to Steel Train’s music and The Format’s, also. Unlike Fun.’s discography, this is a little more raw and underground. Yet, if you’re looking for stories to be told and a better understanding of the songs sang on Fun.’s albums – I recommend listening to The Format’s second release – Dog Days. Oceans, Snails and Pick Me Up give an insight to the life of Nate Ruess and his struggles which ultimately brought him to write the material on Aim And Ignite & Some Nights. I have also learnt a bit about living in NYC and loves that didn’t last – Nate has lived, and this can be heard in his music noticeably.
Recently, front man, Nate Ruess, produced a song with the multi-talented pop/rock-star we all know and love; P!NK. Just Give Me A Reason featured on her new album and together, they performed the song on VH1’s life stories special dedicated to P!NK herself. Nate has also been helping out a few other celebrity names in the industry, co-writing Ke$ha’s new pop-synth smash, Die Young. Although you may now know it, Nate has been contributing to the music industry in ways that may not be completely recognised and appreciated by the occasional listener.
The 3 lads have noticed that with their fame, they have acquired a voice, and are able to make a stand and say something that matters. Their voice founded the Ally Coalition, along with Rachel Antonoff (a fashion designer) – but, what is this coalition business? The Ally Coalition was founded for “the purpose of inspiring people, in particular people in the music, fashion and entertainment industry, to take action in the fight for LGBTQ equality. TAC believes that it is the responsibility of allies to support LGBTQ causes and fight against discrimination through education, awareness and advocacy.” – from the official website. Fun. may just seem like a popular indie band, yet it’s easy to see that they are more involved with the world and matters of our generation than one might originally think. This is what I also believe, makes them great and true artists and role models to the growing generation.
I owe much to my friend for introducing me to this side of the music industry. Before, I’d been confined to artists like Lady Gaga, Azealia Banks and Lana Del Rey – which are all brilliant artists in their own right. But, listening to Fun. has opened up my taste to such bands as Neon Trees, Foster The People, The Format and Fun. themselves. So, hopefully you’ve learnt a little more about the origins of the band and can understand that they have a history and should not be defined by their one international hit, like I had done before and now regret so. I recommend to anyone who hasn’t listened to their chart-topping album, to do so. Let me know what you think and, if you do approve, I will thank my friend Alice, who was the one that showed me this band and who, basically, showed them to you too.
Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost – thank you for creating such brilliant music, I sit here and listen to your song Carry On as I write this piece. I can only hope that this band will continue to write music in the future and do another tour as, unfortunately, their current one has SOLD OUT!