THE fact that The Naked and Famous are still an active band is amazing in itself.
Little alone that the New Zealand indie-electro powerhouse are touring Australia for the Wine Machine festival and preparing to release their fourth album Recover on May 8.
The Naked and Famous have endured enough upheaval in recent years to derail any band, even Fleetwood Mac, joked guitarist and co-vocalist Thom Powers.
Since the release of their last album Simple Forms in 2016, the Auckland-bred Los Angeles-based act have shed three members - Jesse Woods (drums), Aaron Short (keyboards) and David Beadle (bass) - leaving just the artistic heart of Powers and charismatic lead vocalist Alisa Xayalith.
Powers almost didn't survive himself after he was hospitalised for two nights with blood poisoning which led to sepsis, following a show in a Napa Valley winery.
"We all thought he'd be fine, he'd get it out of his system and then hop on the bus and go to sleep and he'd be fine," Xayalith said from Tasmania where the Wine Machine tour kicked off last Saturday.
"It turns out he was severely ill. He had to go to hospital and he almost died. It was a serious ordeal."
Following the exit of other band members, Powers and Xayalith came "very" close to pulling the pin on The Naked and Famous.
But in the end the musical bond between the pair, who began songwriting together in 2008, was too enduring.
It's a partnership that's spawned anthemic hits like Young Blood and Punching In A Dream off their classic 2010 debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You and propelled The Naked and Famous from the clubs of Auckland to world stages like Coachella.
"At the end of the day it's because Thom and I care about the band so much, it would have been such a shame to have thrown away the legacy we've spent 10 years of our lives building," Xayalith said.
"We were in the middle of making the record and it's a testament to both Thom and I that if we're going to start something, we might as well finish it.
"The idea of abandoning all the hard work we've already put in, I couldn't do that. The idea of doing that was not an option."
Given the drama surrounding its incubation, The Naked and Famous could be forgiven for releasing a dark and melancholy album. However, Recover is the opposite.
The first three singles Sunseeker, Bury Us and Come As You Are have introduced a more electronic pop sound guaranteed to get dance floors heaving.
Powers said the title Recover has multiple meanings, relating to the near destruction of the band.
"It's the mission statement for us with this album," he said.
"Alisa and I went through a lot to decide and figure out whether we were gonna keep doing The Naked and Famous.
"So the title of the body of work is both a mission statement and it also emphasises the first track [Recover] on the album, which was really the Eureka moment in the writing process.
"It has a deep meaning for the album as a whole and for me personally."
Reverting The Naked and Famous to the original duo has also given Powers and Xayalith renewed creative freedom.
On Recover the songs dictated how the tracks were presented, rather than keeping the individual band members involved.
"As soon as we were a five-piece band all I wanted to do was to create a band environment where it really felt like a classic group and everyone's instrument was really vital and everyone's role was really vital," Powers said.
"That means when you're producing the music you're very worried about what everyone is doing on stage.
"Now that's gone you just worry about making cool music. There's no worrying about how we're gonna do it, you just figure it out and we've got enough experience with live shows to always perform it."
Life may be calmer within The Naked and Famous camp these days, but Xayalith said creative tension still exists because she and Powers care so deeply about the project.
"It is still tough, even though it's only the two of us, whether the guys are here or not," she said.
"Because Thom and I both feel really strong about something individually that's really tough to navigate and find a middle ground and to compromise.
"The word compromise can feel miles away. Like days and weeks before we ever reach one.
"That doesn't change. At the end of the day being in a band is really tough."
Since 2012 the band have been based in LA and Xayalith even bought a house recently in the Californian metropolis.
"We've been living there on and off eight years now," Xayalith said. "LA has really began feeling like home. Living there is really incredible because it's such a melting pot of artists and creative people and that's where the work is, so it makes sense to be there.
"We love New Zealand dearly, but New Zealand is the place we both imagine retiring and returning back to when we've done with the music thing."
The Naked and Famous perform at Wine Machine on Saturday at Roche Estate alongside The Jungle Giants, Hot Dub Wine Machine, Regard, Northeast Party House and more.