“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.

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.