“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

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.