Monday 4 June 2012

Friends | Manifest! Review

Released: June 04 2012 via

Track list
1.    Friend Crush      2.    Sorry      3.    Home     4.    A Thing Like This      5.    A Light      6.    Ideas On Ghosts      
7.    Ruins    8.    I'm His Girl     9.    Proud/Ashamed     10.    Stay Dreaming      11.    Va Fan Gor Du     12.    Mind Control    

So today saw the release of Manifest! the Debut album by Brooklyn band Friends. I'm sure if you've been anywhere remotely near a computer in the past few months you would have heard someone mention this band, and it's no surprise really with music as fruitful as theirs. Even though their name might not be the most mouthwatering (I just have a pet hate for band names who become almost impossible to search on google without a million unrelated results, the American sitcom Friends in this case) their music surely makes up for the fact with their signature grooves and melodic instrumentation.

Whilst their music is hard to pin to a specific genre they remain fresh and with this in mind the songs the five piece produce create a wholesome atmosphere that stays true throughout the album.

Produced by the band and with tracks such as Mind Control mixed by the one and only Paul Epworth it's safe to say even before listening that you sub consciously know the record will be up to quality. And it definitely lives up to this judgement. The album is kicked off with the luscious summery tones of Friend Crush that effortlessly floats and bubbles with venturesome lyricism. I can't help but think Santogold. Already on track two 'Sorry' I felt a different direction with style and composition with heavily reverb drenched vocals. And one of many different styles which surface throughout Manifest! making Friends the diverse and dynamic group they have become known for.

With the more drawn out songs such as Home & A Thing Like This Samantha Urbani's dynamic vocal ability is truly allowed to shine with her harmonious subtle pitch shifts gently accompanied by the funkiest of bass riffs.

The album continues with it's up beat appeal and it's not until Ruins where a darker side is introduced with its poetic nature and heavy guitar parts but it's not long before Proud/Ashamed once again brings back the carefree charm from earlier tracks with its swaggering breezy percussion and spirited vocals.

Rounding up with Mind Control the record ends with jaunty guitars and an animated love that beckons through the croaky vocals and edited high pitched screeching. A sort of post-disco vibe that possesses a sting in its tail. Super tight.

Despite the hype and buzz around this band I believe beneath the surface lies a true talent and whilst some songs lack a distinct direction with a little nurturing the band can continue to revel in their success. All in all a very cool and unique record that has charm, desire and some of the funkiest bass lines that would do even the likes of James Brown proud. And not just good on record. I was lucky enough to catch their set at this years Field Day festival in London and the band truly put on a great show. Be sure catch them if they come around your way, definitely not one to miss!

Manifest! is available to buy now from all good record stores.


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