Back during the first half of 2015, we only knew Friendship as a social concept that we were bad at participating in. We ended 2015 with a new favorite band. Thanks to a “mysterious EP” (as posted by The Key) and a Folkadelphia house concert with Maine’s Jacob Augustine, Friendship really held our attention as we greatly anticipated their eventual debut full length, You’re Going to Have to Trust Me. With its somber country sound somewhere between Jason Molina and Gram Parsons (as WXPN’s John Vettese nicely describes it), Friendship hits that sweet spot where our interests in existentialism and pedal steel guitar converge. Continue reading →
Local favs Friendship play All Night Diner tonight in a rare six-piece set-up. The (mostly) Maine natives will be joined by their Ohio-based keyboardist and a recently added flautist, giving the already hauntingly structured songs that populate last year’s stand out You’re Going To Have To Trust Me LP even more nuanced depth. Revisit “Responsible” from the record below and get more information for the show here. The Dove & The Wolf, Field Sleeper and Curtis Cooper also play.
As we prepare to send Friendship off on a summer tour in a few weeks, why not look back at a video filmed on their last east coast journey?
The Philadelphia-based band of Maine, Florida and Ohio natives spent the better parts of March and April taking their 2015 debut LP You’re Going To Have To Trust Mefrom Savannah to Toronto, making a midway-stop in Tennessee where they recorded this live version of “Fuzzy.” Nashville’s Little Light Shows captured the song on the first floor of a sparsely lit home, casting the soft-spoken musings in a dewy glow. It’s the kind of recording that relays the intimacy of a Friendship set.
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps five of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.
You know it’s been a solid year of Philly music when squeezing it into a list of five feels like an injustice. True, I review the scene every year at the start of our #YearEndMania series, and yes, it’s almost always an “incomplete” list. But this year in particular, it could have handily been fifteen or twenty discoveries instead of merely five, and reeling the number in today was totally a challenge.
Some general observations: Philadelphia had a higher-profile musical year than ever before. A slate of solid releases emerged from the 215, from the amazing Painted Shut from Hop Along, which topped our critics’ poll yesterday, to Kurt Vile’s dreamy latest b’lieve i’m goin’ down; heavy rock and roll by The Districts and an ace live album from Dr. Dog; a hotly anticipated return from Meek Mill (hopefully that Drake beef didn’t do too much damage to his rep); timeless offerings from Jazmine Sullivan and Jill Scott; and so much more. Then there was the amount of attention Philly recieved from the outside world, including Stereogum’s scene report in June – it got a mixed reception in musician circles, but it was nonetheless cool to see those guys watching us from afar. We also saw increased coverage of Philly musicians in Impose, Noisey and Brooklyn Vegan, all the way up to Rolling Stone (which freakin’ loves them some Alex G.).
It’s all exciting stuff, but those artists I mentioned are doubtless very familiar to our regular readers at this point. With this in mind, I set my sights back to January to remember the names and faces that were pretty much new to me over the course of the year, or new-ish but making a big impression. Looking over the five, my listening habits were clearly eclectic but notably on the downbeat side. But don’t cast this crop of emerging musicians as mellowed-out, maaan – they may be quiet on the surface, but each works on a very nuanced level, delivering intoxicating tones and intricate textures that teeter on the verge of exploding. In many cases, that’s what they ultimately do, in a sonic sense, and next year I’m hoping to see some of these artists explode in that other cool kinda musical way: their profile. Let’s dig in. Continue reading →
This week’s Key Studio Session featured Friendship, a quartet of Philly-based musicians that hail originally from Maine and Florida. They performed five songs for their session: three from their new You’re Going to Have to Trust Me LP, one new song and one old song. Listen to the new song, “Familiar,” below and download the full set here.
Since we stumbled across Maine-to-Philly transplants Friendship earlier this year, we’ve been hooked. The band’s simmering, tempered take on meditative Americana struck a huge chord – Dan Wriggins’ emotive vocals and vivid lyrics about companionship and disconnection, Michael Cormier’s restrained drums, Peter Gill’s expressive pedal steel. Like I said in our feature profile of Friendship earlier this fall, “it’s reminiscent of Pedro the Lion and Jason Molina, but also of Gram Parsons and George Jones.” Continue reading →
Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
Philly-via-Maine transplants Friendship have just released a new music video for their track “He Said ‘You Seemed So Much In Luv'” off their debut LP You’re Going to Have to Trust Me.
We’ve gotten to know the somewhat mysterious band this summer and fall – read an interview with the founding trio here – and were quickly drawn into the number of pages they take from the dark country-rock book of Jason Molina. Singer Dan Wriggins always seems to be teetering on the edge of an emotional breakdown, singing with a somber sense of resignation “We were never gonna stand a chance / I thought you knew about that.” Continue reading →
Let’s face it, the adult Halloween is only really fun if you get to get boozed up, listen to some music and dance while dressed ridiculously. Or is that just me? Regardless there are some rockin’ shows this weekend where all of the aforementioned are encouraged – and pretty much required. Continue reading →
To celebrate the release of their debut album, You’re Going to Have to Trust Me, Friendship will be playing at Everybody Hits! tonight. This show will also be kicking off the trio’s fall tour with Abi Reimold. Friendship, who recently moved to Philadelphia from Maine, released a single from their new record, called “Goneis,” back in August. Pick up your tickets here and listen to the song below. Continue reading →
Michael Cormier has a pretty cushy job situation when you think about it. He works out in the verdant hills of Swarthmore doing landscaping. His employers have a garage apartment where he gets to live; it’s also a space for his bandmates in the emerging Philly country-folk trio Friendship to rehearse every week. There are two bus lines, a train and a trolley nearby that can get him into and out of Philly with ease. I ask if he’s working for a school, or a business, or something of that nature; Cormier shakes his head. It’s private property, and he’s working for the family that owns it.
“He’s like the help in Downton Abbey,” jokes Dan Wriggins, the soft-spoken singer guitarist in Friendship. They run through some of Cormier’s other day jobs, all of which are fascinating by metropolitan office-life standards: baking bread in England while studying abroad for three months, baking bread in rural Ohio, working on a lobster fishing boat in midcoast Maine. That last job is actually one he shared with Wriggins and Peter Gill, the pedal steel guitarist in Friendship, when they all lived up north.
“We all grew up in the same town outside of Portland, called Yarmouth, so we’ve always played music together,” says Cormier. This is their first cohesive project, though. “We’ve worked on Pete’s stuff, we’ve worked on my stuff, we’ve worked on Dan’s stuff, and now it’s like fused together.”
This January, the three lifelong friends decided to take the next step with their music; in January, they moved to Philadelphia, a full day’s drive from the area where they grew up, to launch the band. Continue reading →