The Naked and Famous have revealed the first taste of their third album, one that was created under the strain of a broken relationship.

The Kiwi pop-rock group today released Higher, the first single from their album Simple Forms, due out on October 14 and the follow-up to 2013's In Rolling Waves.
* Watch Higher's lyric video via Consequence of Sound.

The Auckland five-piece are known for making synth-drenched festival singalongs, and Higher's shimmering hooks and shouted chorus is no different.

But in a statement, the five-piece revealed the band almost split up after the breakdown of an eight-year relationship between band co-founders Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers.

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The Naked and Famous unveil their third album in October. Photo/Samantha West
The Naked and Famous unveil their third album in October. Photo/Samantha West

They recorded the album in Powers' Echo Park studio in Los Angeles, and Xayalith says they put their "pain" into the music.

"There's pain and passion behind this art. Pop techniques are all about maximum impact. And it's not like this is an album of bangers but it's the most immediate thing we've ever done."

Powers: "My production idea in The Naked and Famous has always been to set the insularity of our songwriting in a space where intimacy and explosive excitement can bring tension and release," he said.

"To me, that is what contemporary pop should be. Our ambition is that this music be noticed and we're proud of what we've achieved in the studio."

The group has revealed several months of US tour dates. Their last performance here was at the Auckland City Limits music festival in March.