Best of What's Next: fun.
Hometown: New York
Album: Aim and Ignite
Members: Andrew Dost (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Nate Ruess (vocals), Jack Antonoff (guitar, vocals)
For Fans Of: Ben Folds, Queen, The Format
Last year, following the dissolution of his first band, ex-Format frontman Nate Ruess made a pilgrimage idealized by young Americans long before Sinatra’s famed salute: Having overstayed his welcome in his Arizona hometown, the songwriter moved to New York to start a new life. “There’s a big difference between comfort and what you’re destined to do,” Ruess says. “I needed a change in every aspect of my life.”
Now teamed with Steel Train lead singer Jack Antonoff and former Anathallo multi-instrumentalist Andrew Dost, Ruess has documented this change on his new band’s debut Aim and Ignite, on which frenetic lyrics and mille-feuille instrumentation capture the anxiety and thrill of being in a new city where everything is ripe for discovery. The new group is called fun.—an oddly-punctuated but perfectly apt band name if there ever was one. In rowdy bar anthems and reminiscing ballads, the record narrates Ruess’ coming to Brooklyn, coming of age and coming to terms with what he’s left behind
The trio took in a lot of Broadway theater while writing the record, and its sung dialogue, bellowing horns and bombastic choruses are begging to be choreographed—a notion that might not be completely out of the question. “We’re doing this group work-out together,” Ruess says. “We bought an infomercial DVD called Insanity, and we’ve gotten pretty synchronized. Maybe we can learn some dance numbers next.”