Following the Format
's breakup in 2008, frontman Nate Ruess
took his songwriting skills to Steel Train
's Jack Antonoff
's Andrew Dost
, both of whom shared a similar affinity for vintage pop music and quirky, melodic hooks. The trio began a series of collaborations in Antonoff
's parents' living room and soon enlisted the help of producer Steven McDonald
, who recorded their work and handled bass duties. After enlisting the help of former Jellyfish
keyboardist Robert Joseph Manning, Jr.
, who arranged several tracks, the bandmates completed work on their first record. Dubbing themselves Fun.
, the group introduced their Queen and ELO-influenced big pop sound in 2009 with the debut album Aim and Ignite
. In 2012, Fun.
returned with its sophomore effort, Some Nights. The album was produced by Jeff Bhasker, who worked on Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The album drew much inspiration from hip-hop, and West in particular, while staying true to their roots and blowing their sound up to impressively large proportions. The record's first single, "We Are Young," featured vocals by Janelle Monáe and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100.