When I first heard “Punching in a Dream” by The Naked and the Famous, I thought, “Well, what a catchy dreampop song!” The ethereal voice of Alisa Xayalith over the layered electronics struck me as a sonically aggressive take on the genre but I was comfortable with that categorization nonetheless.
Coming to know the band quite a bit better recently, I’ve come to appreciate the bite in their music that lends their sound to the more rock-and-roll bent of post-punk. Yet I’m not entirely comfortable fully placing them there myself—and this is what makes the band an exciting listen. The Naked and the Famous are different. They play outside of boundaries, and they are surprisingly versatile while doing so. This was evident in two sold out shows at the 9:30 Club this past Sunday and Monday, where the crowd fully embraced the duality of the band, dancing and singing along with great enthusiasm.