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L-R: Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff, and Andrew Dost

fun. is an American indie pop band based in New York City that was formed by Nate Ruess, the then-former lead singer of The Format, after that band's breakup in 2008. Ruess formed the band alongside Andrew Dost (of Anathallo) and Jack Antonoff (of Steel Train). fun. has released two albums, Aim and Ignite in 2009 and Some Nights in 2012.

The band's popularity exploded in 2012 when their song "We Are Young" was featured on the TV show Glee. This exposure to a large audience almost immediately resulted in the song becoming popular on the radio and in digital sales. It eventually became one of the most popular songs of the year and peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; follow-up singles "Some Nights" and "Carry On" were also hits and reached the top 20 on the chart.

Traits the band is known for include Nate's wide vocal range and harmonies (which has drawn comparisons to Freddie Mercury), their unique combination of classic rock with catchy hooks and influences from everything from modern hip-hop to Baroque Pop, Lyrical Dissonance, and use of dynamics. They are poppy, upbeat, yet dark, emotional, clever, funny, creative, and most of all fun.

On February 4, 2015, the band announced on Facebook that they were taking some time off to pursue other projects, but are otherwise not splitting up. Ruess released a solo album, Grand Romantic later that year. Antonoff, however, has been the band member with the higher profile during the hiatus; his side-project band Bleachers had two hit rock radio singles off their debut album Strange Desire, and he's also co-written and co-produced albums and singles for artists including Taylor Swift, Lorde and Sara Bareilles.


Some nights, I stay up troping in my bad luck:

  • Advertised Extra: Janelle Monáe is credited as a feature on fun.'s "We Are Young", but she sings only 4 lines that are almost obscured by the background vocals. She is more noticeably featured in the video, but she only appears for about 20 seconds.
  • Album Title Drop: "So we Aim and Ignite..." from "Light A Roman Candle With Me."
    • A special edition of Some Nights came with a shirt with the lyrics of the album on it, highlighting every time the title is dropped.
  • all lowercase letters: Their name.
  • Arc Words: 'Stars' recurs throughout Some Nights, as does the titular phrase. Appropriately enough, the album opens with a song called "Some Nights" and ends with a song called "Stars" (each of which contains references to the other).
  • Auto-Tune: Lots of it, but it's only used for effect. A bit of a controversial subject for the band, since Nate really doesn't need it.
  • Badass Boast: "I'm not a prophet, but I'm here to profit, that's all!".
  • Bar Brawl: "We Are Young" music video is this... IN SLOW MOTION!
  • Call-and-Response Song:
  • Call-Back: In several fun. songs ("Take Your Time (Coming Home)", "Some Nights" and "Why Am I The One?") "the desert" and "the sun" are used to refer to Arizona and California, respectively. This is a callback to The Format's "On Your Porch".
    • A callback to two songs from fun.'s debut album is present in the song "Stars", with the line "Some nights I rule the world with "Barlights" and "Pretty Girls"." The titles are even in quotations in the lyrics, so it's a pretty obvious reference.
      • Aim And Ignite has a song called "I Wanna Be The One." Later on Some Nights there's a song called "Why Am I The One?"
    • "Take Your Time (Coming Home)" also contains the lyric "I'm through with causing a scene," a reference to The Format's "The First Single". Nate Ruess seems to do this a lot.
    • The beginning of "Stars" seems to be a live recording of the bridge of "Some Nights."
      • That isn't the only Call Back that Stars holds about Some Nights. The intro of "Stars" has a guitar riff that seems to be the same as the one in the Outro of "Some Nights", except in a lower pitch and slowed down.
    • A distorted segment of the bridge of "Some Nights" (containing the lyrics "when I see stars that's all they are/when I hear songs they sound like a swan") is looped throughout the outro of "Why Am I the One?"
      • On the subject of "Why Am I the One?"'s outro, once Nate starts to sing "You're always holding on to stars" in "Stars", you will notice that most of the rest of the song is a similar loop to the outro's instrumental.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: "One Foot" subverts this. He calls himself out for not being thankful that his dad is alive at all during the bridge.
  • Careful with That Axe: During the climax of "Stars." With vocoder effects!
  • Celebrity Is Overrated/Lonely at the Top: "Stars." Actually, almost all of the Some Nights album deals with loneliness in every song. There's gratitude for their success in there as well, though, which keeps it from being whiny or Wangsty.
  • Concept Album: Some Nights seems to be about the loneliness and misery of perpetual touring with little reward, the singer's regrets of leaving behind a possible Love Interest and missing everyone from his childhood, grieving his mother, and raging at his father.
    • Bittersweet Ending: In "Stars," the band finally makes it to the top and while there's still a conflicted attitude in the lyrics, they're mostly positive. But as the song goes on, the tone gets darker and darker and Ruess's voice is more and more heavily distorted to match, the implication being that celebrity life has not brought him the happiness he thought it would.
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: Averted with their cover of "Call Me Maybe".
  • Dark Reprise: "Stars" begins with a slowed down version of the riff in the outro of "Some Nights".
  • Downer Ending: If Some Nights is a Concept Album, then "Stars" is this. Regardless, it's a very bleak song to end the album with.
  • Genre Shift: Aim And Ignite is Baroque Pop mixed with a hint of Alternative Rock and Progressive Rock whereas Some Nights is pretty much straight Pop.
  • Grief Song: "Some Nights" seems to about a girl who passed but haunts the singer of the song.
  • Large Ham: Nate's vocals have more than a few things in common with Freddie Mercury.
  • Loudness War: Zig-Zagged. "It Gets Better" seems to invoke it by brickwalling the whole time, and the album "Some Nights" clips and brickwalls in a few places, but it's still a very dynamic album and a good few tracks never even max out at all. "Some Nights (Intro)", "Why Am I The One", and "Carry On" avert it gloriously.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: It's present in a lot of fun. songs as well as songs from The Format, Ruess' old band.
    • To wit, the verse in "We Are Young" reveals that this is about a guy and his date at a bar, whose friends have abandoned them to get high and they have lost a cell phone and the date's going to get drunk to forget about how the guy beat her but all's well because toniiiiiiight, we are young.
    • "Some Nights" is a lament about how it's Lonely at the Top, but the drum line is so dancey.
    • "Stars" is an upbeat and quirky song with extremely bleak lyrics about leaving everyone behind and being stuck alone with nobody to help you get through anything due to fame.
      Some nights I rule the world,
      With "Barlights" and "Pretty Girls",
      But most nights I stay straight and think about my mom,
      • And later repeats the lines "No one's gonna save us" and "you're always holding on to stars" over and over again.
    • "All Alone" has a surprisingly cheery beat for a song about depression and loneliness.
  • Machine Monotone: Again at the end of "Stars".
  • Mood Whiplash: Frequently, and often within the same song.
  • New Sound Album: Some Nights is less cheery and much more hip-hop influenced than Aim and Ignite.
  • Ode to Youth: "We Are Young"
  • Pop: Their songwriting is creative enough that most people forget that they're very much a pop band.
    • An indie pop band, that is.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Take Your Time (Coming Home)" from their first album, after an entire album with no profanity:
    If it's true, then what the fuck have I been doing the last six years?
    • Their second album goes through them all in the first two tracks.
    Some nights, I say fuck it all
    • "Who the fuck wants to die alone, all dried up in the desert sun?!"
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: The huge walls of harmonies.
  • Shout-Out: The line "This is it, boys, this is war" from "Some Nights" is taken from Nena's famous song, "99 Red Balloons".
  • Singer Name Drop: In "At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)":
    And they said, "HEY NATE! Yeah it's been a while..."
  • Song Style Shift: "We Are Young" definitely fits this trope.
    • Also "Carry On" starts like a quiet piano ballad but shifts into a more rock-anthem sound after the first chorus.
  • Stylistic Suck: "It Gets Better" seems to be this (unlike the rest of the album, it's heavily brickwalled and Nate's vocals are deliberately unrefined, heavily Autotuned, and distorted), as well as the backing instrumental to "One Foot" (Which just consists of one short loop of a marching band over and over).
  • Their First Time: "It Gets Better" is all about losing your virginity, contrary to the belief that it's actually about growing up as a gay kid.
    • The other video for "We Are Young" is an allegory for this.
  • Wham Line: In "All Alright"
    Well I got the call soon as the day hit night
    As soon as the headlights lit up the Westside
    I stopped the car and came outside
    Cause I know that tone
    I remember the first time
    We wished upon parallel lines
    Waiting for a friend to call
    And say they're still alive

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I'll carry you home