This review was originally published at Listen Before You Buy.
The latest sticky-sweet girl pop band hails from the unlikely location of Bushwick, an often sketchy and recently-hip area of Brooklyn. In a way, it make sense as girl-pop, as a genre, is often sketchy and recently hip. Fortunately for Friends, the moniker that they finally settled on, their particular brand of electro-dazed pop is verging on excellent.
Though they haven’t even dropped an album yet, Friends has been picked up by the UK label Lucky Numbers, who released their debut single ‘Friend Crush’. The band, which is headed up by Samantha Urbani and Lesley Hann, is currently working on a full-length album that is set to release in summer 2012.
There is a specific brand of preening girl rock that can actually pull me in, despite my usual aversion to it. Friends supersedes this generalization, though, by incorporating more complex musicianship instead of the usual looped beats. On ‘I’m His Girl’ the background of sounds that they cycle through remain varied, but still mainly serve as a backdrop for Urbani’s vocals.
The debut single itself, ‘Friend Crush’, is a nice break from the other two songs, which address the standard topic of love – this track discusses the particular brand of friendship that can be almost as intoxicating as a relationship. The riff in this song was practically made for the radio, while the “That Thing You Do”-esque drumming and an underscored, persistent bass line ensures that it will remain in your head as long as any current top 40 hit.
There is a relaxed feel to the band’s sound that is reminiscent of light, summery days; a lack of pretension that is rare to find in a Brooklyn-based indie act. Urbani sings about ‘Feelin’ Dank’, her “boo”, and other equally fluffy topics, but she isn’t pretending they’re anything more than that. Let’s face it, these are equally prevalent concerns and emotions of the urban woman, and Urbani delivers them with a sensuality that is hard to match.
You can stream ‘Friend Crush’, ‘Feelin’ Dank’ & ‘I’m His Girl’ or ‘My Boo’ below.