Fun (stylized as fun.) is an American indie pop band based in New York City that was formed by Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format. After the breakup of The Format, Ruess formed Fun with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff, of Anathallo and Steel Train, respectively. Fun has released two albums: Aim and Ignite in August 2009 and Some Nights in February 2012.
The band is best known for its three hit singles: Grammy Award-winning "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monáe), "Some Nights", and "Carry On". "We Are Young" reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts. It also peaked at number one in the United Kingdom. "Some Nights" was released as the album's second single in June 2012, peaking at number three on the Hot 100 chart and becoming Fun's second Top 10 single, as well as the band's second song to reach platinum status in the United States.
On February 10, 2013, Fun won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist and won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for "We Are Young". Additionally, Fun was a nominee for four other Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo or Group Performance (both for "We Are Young") along with Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album (both for Some Nights).
The Format split in February 2008. Immediately afterward, Nate Ruess asked Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff to join his new project. Dost had toured with The Format and provided various instrumentation. Ruess met Antonoff after The Format toured with Steel Train. The three began working together in New Jersey within a week. Ruess sang melodies while the other two provided music for them. The first demo song the band recorded was "Benson Hedges", which was made available free in Spin's August 20, 2008 article on the band. Fun approached Steven McDonald, who produced The Format's album Dog Problems with Ruess, to produce their debut album. McDonald was enthusiastic about the project and stated, "I can't believe what we're working on here. This crushes anything I've ever done."
2009-2010: Aim and IgniteRecording took place in the fall of 2008. The band's first single, "At Least I'm Not as Sad As I Used to Be" was made available as a free download on the band's Myspace page on April 6, 2009. Aim and Ignite was released on August 25, 2009 and had positive reviews. AbsolutePunk.net's Drew Beringer praised the album, stating it was "what a pop album 'should' sound like" and "the most essential pop album of 2009." Allmusic called the album "progressive, but in the best possible way" and admired Ruess's lyrics for "investigating the larger truths of life...with a witty approach that keeps the songs bubbling merrily along on a positive note". Dave de Sylvia of Sputnikmusic wrote, "Aim and Ignite isn't the most consistent pop album around," but he ultimately commended the album as "a superbly mixed and arranged album made by musicians who clearly understand the limits and potential of pop music". Estella Hung of PopMatters was less impressed with the album. She praised songs "Be Calm" and "The Gambler", but criticized the lyrics and production of the album's early tracks. Hung concluded that while Aim and Ignite is "pretty original to say the least", it "fails to live up to the Format's last outing." Popdose's Ken Shane called the album "an interesting and unusual listen." Shane applauded the album's songwriting and said "many of the songs are really good," but he objected to the "cute" production, desiring to hear the band "in a more stripped-down form." He ended his review with: "I have a similar problem with Dr. Dog, a band that was recommended to me by a number of people. I think much of their recorded work is too fussed over, but when I saw them live and their sound was more stripped down out of necessity, emphasizing their powerful songwriting, I thought they were wonderful. Perhaps the same fate awaits me with Fun." The album reached number 26 on Sputnikmusic's top 50 albums of 2009. The album peaked at 71 on the US album charts.
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