“Friends” Is a Casual Reminder That Sometimes the Safest Spaces Are Filled with Strangers, Not Friends

A newly formed band is kicking it into high gear with this alt-pop tune.

Braverijah Gregg

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This week: “Friends” by Twin XL (Position Music, 2019)

Why we’re into it: With sweet whistling and lyrics that give it a Donnie Darko-like tone, Twin XL explores the rare intimacy of a room full of strangers.

Sometimes the most beautiful and comforting moments happen between people who’ve never met. Whether a pleasant exchange on public transit or an inebriated bonding session with someone at a party, the unfamiliarity of two strangers conversing can feel more freeing than a conversation with the closest of friends. “Friends” hints at that same sense of unusual comfortability you can sometimes find in a room full of unknown people. Sure, not all rooms full of strangers are great—and may actually be quite anxiety-inducing—yet the trio touches on a freedom found in being completely anonymous.

What’s beautiful about “Friends” is that it walks you through a story of an introvert, a life role most listeners have played at one point or another. As the song progresses so does the character, moving forward from the opening lyrics of “Me myself and I/We don’t wanna go outside/We just wanna pass the time/Stressed out, yeah, that’s the vibe,” to “2 a.m. masquerade/Trying on a/Trying on a/Different name.” Personal development is key to any story, and the character’s own understanding of that as expressed in the lyrics makes this an incredibly well-executed song.

The track feels more like a movie than a tune; listeners have the song’s lyrical depth alongside the guys’ ability to craft such a catchy melody to thank for that. “Friends” is quintessential alternative pop and harks back to the golden days of the best indie/alternative summer anthem bops. It’s a song that brings a warmth to the daunting task of talking to strangers, a feat that makes this track the week’s find.

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And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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