Sometimes gigantic new bands emerge when you least expect it. That could happen due to timing or even to the stars aligning. Either way you look at it, when a new band explodes and comes from nowhere, you have no choice but to take a look at what they’ve done and see why it works. When we reviewed New York City indie rockers fun’s album, we knew it was good, but to become the first rock/alternative song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart since Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" in 2008? I don’t think so.
If you’ve been listening to the radio, you’re undoubtedly familiar with “We Are Young,” which features Janelle Monae and has become the band’s calling card. Catchy, poppy and indie all rolled into one fantastic tune. But the band that became Fun had roots put down in earlier bands. This is an incredible accomplishment, especially in the pop/hip-hop dominated charts and even more so for a relatively new band. For a trio whose are entrenched in indie rock to do this says as much about their songs as it does about the growing influence of indie music as a whole.
Fun was formed in 2008 by Nate Ruess, who was formerly of the band, The Format. After the 2008 breakup of The Format, Ruess formed Fun with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff of Anathallo and Steel Train respectively. Usually when a band forms from the rubble or by former members of established bands, the result isn’t a kind one. Perhaps they’ll toil in mediocrity for a while until they move onto the next project or they may toil anonymously until it’s too late. But not these guys. Fun is the exception, not the rule.
Having released only one album, Aim and Ignite, before their breakthrough, the signs were there that big things were in the works for this trio. They had a single, “At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)” that won them stellar reviews and they supported Paramore, Panic At The Disco and Jack’s Mannequin amongst others, which helped them build some credibility in their respective genre.
After signing with Fueled By Ramen/Nettwerk in 2010, the band’s fortunes took a turn for the better. From there, the band recorded Some Nights, which for all intents and purposes is their commercial hit. Their songs have been everywhere, from a Chevy Super Bowl commercial to being licensed on TV programs including Glee, 90210 and the season finale of Gossip Girl.The fun is just beginning for the New Yorkers. “We Are Young” is so popular that the notoriously tough UK audiences have caught onto it, peaking at number 3 on their singles chart. With a bunch of high profile tour dates and festival appearance in their near future, expect for Fun to become a mainstay in indie pop for the foreseeable future.