Castlerock five-piece Brand New Friend’s new EP, ‘A Cure For Living’, is a burst of sunshine-pop melodies and lovesick lyrics. Across seven short and sweet tracks, we ride a musical wave, from speedy guitar riffs and crashing cymbals, to dreamy dual vocals and lulling torch songs.
The EP opens with ‘She Always Comes Up Smiling’, easily recognisable by its opening sonorous beat, that dominates the track. The contrast between Luke Harris’s punching beat and Lauren Johnson’s dreamy synth melody makes for an indie-pop kick that serves as a perfect opener for the EP.
Front man Taylor Johnson’s crafty song writing skills take centre stage in the third track ‘Stop The Days’, with emotionally-rich and nostalgic lyrics, even giving a nod to The Smiths with the lines “My summer love, you took my hand in glove / In our ocean, you can walk on water if it’s frozen”. Lullaby-esque harmonies and sonic guitar lines allow the track to blossom into a springy and fresh summer number.
The bedroom-pop acoustic ‘You Can’t Know Everything, I Don’t Know Anything’ appears later in the EP, and adds a gentle, lilting dimension to the EP. Nuanced vocals allow us to get wrapped up in Johnson’s daydream train of thought through winding, Freudian slip lyrics.
“My reflection won’t look away / She’s the only one that wants to stay / And you’re still holding my hand, or maybe you’re not / If you taught me anything it was something that I forgot” – lyrics from ‘You Can’t Know Everything, I Don’t Know Anything’
Finishing with ‘Plastic Flowers’, Brand New Friend bring us back full circle, with a punchy and angst-filled track, reminiscent in mood of the American Wives era. This musical familiarity offers comfort in their music, through dreamy, love-struck lyrics and warm harmonies that will have you dreaming of summer (and more Brand New Friend releases).