Takeover Tuesday: The Naked and Famous Strip Things Down With Their Favorite Acoustic Tracks

Shervin Lainez 
The Naked and Famous

Welcome back to Takeover Tuesday, where each week Billboard taps chart-topping artists and taste-makers to compile their very own playlist exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. We give the artists free reign to base the list on whatever subject they choose. The only rule? Make it as creative and unique to them as possible.

Back in March, The Naked and Famous released A Still Heart, a compilation of stripped-down tracks from their previous albums and EPs. The New Zealand indietronica band is bringing their Still Heart Tour to the East Coast beginning on June 23 with a stop in Washington, D.C. Ahead of the journey, members Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers have shared some of their favorite acoustic tracks by fellow indie acts for Takeover Tuesday.

From folk rock sister trio The Staves ("Mexico") to the delicate voice of indie mainstay Feist ("Any Party"), Xayalith picked five introspective tracks by female musicians. The singer told Billboard that she gets caught up in the "harmonies" of The Staves, while Leslie Feist is one of her constant inspirations. "I remember trying to learn all her songs off Let it Die on guitar," Xayalith said. The Naked and Famous frontwoman also included "Still," a contemplative track from The Japanese House’s debut EP Pools to Bathe In. The Japanese House is a solo project of England musician Amber Bain and Xayalith said "her songwriting never disappoints."  "Thom and I have been fans since her first release," she continued.       

Powers chose five songs with male vocals on lead. Bon Iver’s sonic adventure "The Wolves (Act I and II)" comes from For Emma, Forever Ago, an album that will always be dear to the singer and guitarist. "I can safely say Bon Iver is one of the artists who originally compelled me to want to double-track every instrument, particularly vocals," he told Billboard. Since the passing of Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson in May, Powers says he’s thought about the frontman every day and included the band’s 2008 track "Good Arms vs. Bad Arms" in the Takeover Tuesday playlist. "His music has meant so much to me," he said. "Until We Get Bored" by Zander Hawley is another one of Powers’ acoustic faves and it features one of Xayalith’s picks, Phoebe Bridgers. The Naked and Famous loved Hawley’s single so much that they invited him to join them on their upcoming tour.

Last but certainly not least, Powers featured the cinematic track "Drawn to the Blood" by Sufjan Stevens and Radiohead’s 2004 deep cut "Gagging Order." As a new fan to Stevens’ music, Powers said he wonders where the musician had been all of his life. When it comes to longtime English rockers Radiohead, their name alone speaks for itself.

Listen to The Naked and Famous’ acoustic playlist for Takeover Tuesday and check out their Still Heart Tour dates below. 

6/23 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage 
6/25 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
6/26 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
6/27 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
6/29  – Wilmington, DE @ The Queen
7/2  – Evanston, IL @ Space
7/15 – Bristol, UK @ Trinity 
7/16 – London, UK @ Union Chapel 
7/20 – Vienna, AT @ WUK
7/21 – Sittersdorf, AT @ Acoustic Lakeside Festival


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