Today, I got some wonderful life advice from my Gran as I helped her do her shopping in town (I don’t just read and listen to music ya know! I sometimes go out..sometimes.) She said to me, “Liv..it is important to drink 4 cups of tea a day. 2 or 3 just isn’t enough. 4 is what you need.” I’m going to treasure that. Of course if she switched whiskey for tea I’d have been even more delighted with this advice, but it’s okay. Advice can be found anywhere. Sometimes on the back of a food item or from the mouth of your favourite person in the world. Or from a band, or a piece of literature. It usually comes to you when you least expect it. That’s when good, and also bad things happen. For instance, err..actually, I don’t have a solid example of this so I’ll just talk about this record instead.
I’ve been in love with Friends since last year. I went through a phase (it’s always been there and it will never go) of solidly listening to bands from Brooklyn. Most of the bands I listen to come from Brooklyn or LA. It wasn’t something I was really aware of until recently. I don’t know, I guess it’s because they just make the music that I really want to hear. Music I can really connect with. That’s what it is all about. Connecting to something..a person or a piece of music is just really important, for me. I’m more likely to connect to a band than a person. It’s alright, I’m denouncing my lesbian ways and just no longer caring about that part of my life. I get more joy from listening to music than appreciating someone’s beauty. Where do I sign up to be a Nun? It’s alright, I’ve gone off track again.
Friends. The band, not the shitty programme. Friends have possibly put out the most exciting album of the year. I know all my love for debut album of the year is all for 2:54. However, what Friends do to me is completely different. 2:54 make me want to walk forever and just escape. Friends (if I don’t pay too much attention to the heartbreaking lyrics) just make me want to dance. And yes, by dance I really do mean flail my limbs about. Hitting myself in the face, and probably anyone who is near me. Like most who really love this band, it all started with I’m His Girl. I just heard the first few seconds of it last year, and my mind was instantly blown. My heart was instantly won. They have this wonderful 80s/early 90s feel about them. You know what I mean? Double denim, tie-dye and bumbags (FANNY PACKS if you’re American. Call them fanny packs, makes everyone feel a bit uncomfortable.)
If you’re looking for an album to take on your summer holiday. Whether you’re going to Skegness or the South of France- this album is probably going to be the one you really need to have on constant repeat. They have this brilliant atmosphere going on, that even when you listen to them on a cold, miserable November day- you’d feel as if you were laying on a beach in July. They just fill your bones with heat. What I love about Friends is that they have this sexual energy like Peaches but have a relaxed, dream-pop feel to them. They’re just incredible.
The only downside is that those damn hipster kids are going to love this band. Thing is, they’ll just love them because they want to seem cool. Don’t they know that the term “cool” is highly redundant? Nothing and no one is cool (unless your name is Jamie Hince, Alison Mosshart, Lou Reed..then you are cool.) Sure they’re a band that those kind of kids will like, but if you really want to do the band a favour-love them because you ACTUALLY love the music. Don’t do it because you feel you have to. It’s like when you see someone wear a Ramones t-shirt and they have NO idea who the band are and what they’ve done for music. It’s why I have yet to buy a Ramones t-shirt, because I don’t want anyone to think that of me. Not that I’m one for paying attention to what anyone thinks of me. Most dislike me. It’s alright, I dislike me too. But I really fucking love Friends and I want this album to be so big. But at the same time, I don’t want them to be ruined by immature folks who use their laptop in the park you know? I don’t want that.
Alright, some of the tracks that I really love (okay so I dig the whole record but I have a few that are currently making me really happy.) Ideas On Ghosts is my favourite, EASILY. The music is currently sending my soul to a different place. I think my ghost is possibly writing down these silly words. My body feels like it has experienced something truly strange. But when you pay close attention to the lyrics in these songs you will hear a fair bit of self-doubt, heartbreak and struggle. The music on its own makes you want to have a good time. If you listen to this on your own, through headphones you will pay close attention to the lyrics. You know a band is really fucking good when they can disguise pain through upbeat music. I love music that does that. Pretty sure most of my music collection consists of bands that do this. Freud would love that shit.
Ruins is just over 2 minutes long, but there’s a build-up in this song that is so bloody powerful. There’s a lot of funk and disco influence in this record. You know how I hate the word “sexy.” Well, as much as I hate that word- this record is truly sexy. It makes you want to dance. It makes you want to sit in a park or on the beach just watching everything and everyone pass you by. Maybe it’s the album you will find your summer love to. Or maybe it’s the album that’ll help you get over a love. Maybe it’ll just make you have a decent summer, you probably do it. Even songs such as Sorry, which is quite sad, will still make you want to dance or move about.
I love everything about this record. As far as debut records go, I can imagine this being one someone finds in 10/20 years time in a discount section in a record store (please let them still be around) and they’ll pick it up and think, “You know…I remember this band. This record really did something to me. I’m going to buy it again!” I want that to happen. It’ll probably be me that does that anyway.
So, go support an amazing band from BK! Go support your local record store, and buy Manifest! by Friends.