The Naked and Famous play in Brisbane on May 5.

The Naked and Famous play in Brisbane on May 5. Photo: Supplied

The temporary closure of Fortitude Valley's Tempo Hotel isn't just a blow to local punters.

It also means an international band won't be able to complete a peculiar ritual that takes place every time visit Brisbane.

While in the River City for the BIGSOUND festival in 2010, members of The Naked and Famous headed to The Tempo Hotel on Brunswick Street and decided to play the pokies.

Singer Alisa Xayalith had never gambled before, so she sat down at a machine named "Big Red" and dropped a dollar in.

"I won $50 and I bought everyone drinks. I'll always remember Brisbane because of that glorious moment!" she laughs.

"So whenever we go to Brisbane, it's almost like a tradition that we go visit that same place, find Big Red, put a dollar in and see what happens."

The success of the 2010 single Young Blood catapulted The Naked and Famous onto the world stage. The track featured on everything from Strongbow commercials to Grey's Anatomy, and with its memorable hook of "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!", the song emerged as a 'summer anthem'.

Suddenly, the New Zealand synthpop group had amassed a global fanbase and soon Xayalith and bandmates Thom Powers, Aaron Short, David Beadle and Jesse Wood were touring internationally.

Xayalith says the youthful exuberance of the song typified the band's debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You. But now they have grown up, she says, and the 2013 follow-up album In Rolling Waves is a reflection of that.

When it is suggested her latest work is "moodier and broodier", Xayalith takes it as a compliment.

"When we wrote Passive Me, Aggressive You we were in our early 20s. I'm now on the latter side of that, so it's only natural I have developed and progressed as a songwriter and artist," she says.

"I would say that my melancholy tastes have been amplified. It's more of an emotional rollercoaster, it's more vulnerable, it's more open-book to an extent."

One of the tracks, I Kill Giants, is about Xayalith experiencing the death of her mother as a young child. It took her years to complete and perfect the song, and she says she is happy with the final product.

"It's the most open I've let myself get in songwriting. Thom and I have been creative collaborators for the last seven years and he really pushed me to finish that song. He knew it was a memory, an experience I always wanted to write about," Xayalith says.

Even if you don't know The Naked and Famous by name, there's a good chance their music has featured in a soundtrack of a television show, movie or video game you've encountered in the last four years.

Syndicating, or "syncing", songs for commercial use is a major part of how modern-day artists balance the books, Xayalith says, adding that she is comfortable with how her songs have been used by others.

When it comes to Young Blood, the band ensures it is only used for purposes that are "within reason".

"It's what helps us sustain touring, what helps us sustain an international career and so we always approve who gets to sync and license that song," she says.

"We've always had this rule in publishing that there would never be anything synced to a cemetery, for tampon ads, or anything incredibly evil like an animal product."

The Naked and Famous play the Hi-Fi Bar in Brisbane on May 5. Tickets on sale from Live Nation.