Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It was probably uttered with a shrug, possibly done over a phone line and it was said off the cuff to someone just doing their job, someone working for the record company, and yet it's evident that it holds meaning. The official bio for the New York band Fun, featuring members of bands The Format, Anathallo and Steel Train, is just another example of a band biography - hyperbole and big smiles, claims of revolutionary sounds, techniques and aspirations - over-reaching to make a young band appealing to everyone out there in the entire world. Its players are improbable legends in the making and there is no time to wait to hear them before they are charting all over the place and setting all SoundScan reports on fire. It's what bios are supposed to do, but at the very end of the long and drawn out piece of fluff, lead singer Nate Reuss says (and this is where that shrug and that sigh probably come in), "It just feels right," and after you listen to the band's debut album, the sublime "Aim and Ignite," you understand that the sigh, the shucks, the shrug and the succinct phrase is all that the bio needed to include. You could take a red pen to everything else - all of the needless blather and all of the pointless hype and circumstance. Fun's music is everything one thinks about when defining the very word that these three friends - Reuss, Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff -- winkingly chose to name their band. It's striking in its effortlessness, subtle beauties and the glow that it leaves you with. It is sweet and enriched with meaningful lyrics that are able to feel like those that should be associated with bedroom rock as well as arena rock (as it might have been in the 1960s and 1970s when we could have been talking about The Turtles and The Zombies selling those ugly and cold 12,000-seaters out). "All The Pretty Girls," is not necessarily an endorsement for roller skating rinks and cotton candy or a carnival's midway on a slightly sultry evening, but it might be one of the best ways to describe the way a bunch of those nights, which could be associated with such youthful boy-girl interactions, feel years later. When Reuss sings, "This one doesn't want to admit she's falling in love," it's with no particular girl in mind, but just one of the many girls on Saturday nights who tumble into being smitten or having another smitten over them. It's happening right now, in millions of places, but it's a more romantic view looking at it in retrospect and with the thought that it might be happening for the first time, on a weekend, to someone who is caught completely off-guard. The sound of Reuss on "The Gambler" is all love, all stunning reminiscence, a chance to have both the luxury of hindsight and the freakout properties that come with not knowing what the hell is going on at the moment as the love of a lifetime is formulating. He sings about no knowing a thing about romance, but understanding it when he sees it - love at second sight - and there is a heartbreakingly dark and still beautiful recognition of something pivotal and someone important getting lost to time. It feels here - with heavy piano play - like a b-side that Elton John would have put on a "Crocodile Rock" single to even things out, with Reuss singing about the girl that took his hand "by a fire, 30 years ago today," flashing back and feeling the ease of the memory break him into a mellowness befitting lost love.
Fun Official Site