Breaking away from their dance-heavy synth-pop sound, the Naked & Famous show off their soft side on A Still Heart, a compilation of acoustic renditions of their top hits.
In its purest form, A Still Heart is intimate, minimal and raw. Each track sounds unlike the original, making the entire album feel like you're listening to songs for the first time. The majority of the stripped-down tracks are off the 2010 toe-tapping album Passive Me, Aggressive You.
Alisa Xayalith's heart-wrenching, ethereal vocals on "No Way" and "Teardrop" are accompanied by Thom Powers' delicate acoustic moments, adding dimension to the band's palette. It's refreshing to hear Xayalith and Powers as a duet on "All of This," making the first half of the album feel enchanting. Their harmonious sound is very reminiscent of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim of the xx. On "I Kill Giants," the emotional momentum adds a cinematic impression to the track, and occasionally you can hear a glimpse of old-school synthesisers, keeping a little of that pop punch that their love.
The only drawback here is that A Still Heart is so bare and slow in nature, it can become lifeless after multiple listens. However, the album allows us to see the duo in a more dynamic way, pushing new boundaries for Xayalith and Powers. (Universal)