Friendship - Love the Stranger
Friendship - Love the Stranger

Friendship - Love the Stranger

$23.00
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This item is scheduled to be released on 29th July 2022.

Format

Description

Friendship’s Merge debut, Love the Stranger, moves like a country record skipping in just the right spot, leaving its fellow travellers longing for a place they’ve only visited in their dreams. Guitarist Peter Gill, drummer Michael Cormier-O’Leary, bassist Jon Samuels, and hawk-eyed balladeer Dan Wriggins map out the group’s particular, breathtaking landscape and invite the listener to share in its glory.

Love the Stranger’s invitation is all the more wondrous because its characters have clearly been hurt before. “I need solitude and I also need you,” Wriggins reckons in “Ugly Little Victory.”

Wide awake, vulnerable, and gimmickless, Friendship won’t hesitate to confide in us, or even ask for help when the moment calls, like on the lyrical centrepiece of “Alive Twice”: Under your eyeball spell, I was losing myself/ Not in the good way you used to talk about / I remember a day, Cedar Park Cafe/ I was in a bad place and you set me straight/ With your on-the-nose advice.

Between instrumental pit stops at “Kum & Go” and “Quickchek,” local references in Love the Stranger create a catalog of human perception, presented as roadside attractions. From grape jelly residue (“Ramekin”) to the site of a demolished cathedral (“St. Bonaventure”) to King of the Hill quotations (“Smooth Pursuit”), the record’s images craft a symbolic language of high and low Americana, both evocative and consistently accessible. Spending time with Love the Stranger creates a community one in which the window between the listener and the music maker shatters in full, until all that remains are the fragments you decide to pick up together.

Like its sprawling lyrical references, Love the Stranger’s production is both familiar and capacious enough for pedal steel, synth strings, airy folk guitar field recordings, and MIDI pad exploration to work in vital harmony. Influenced by Friendship’s punk and indie peers as much as road-star forebears like Lucinda Williams and Lambchop, Wriggins says of the recording sessions: “We all got to stretch out, chase our personal musical fixations, and build on each others’ work.

Bradford Krieger, our engineer at Big Nice Studio, has a mind-blowing creative energy and hundreds (thousands?) of instruments.” He recalls further: “I wanted the album to sound like Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band in the ’70s. Pete wanted it to sound like a semi full of spent fuel rods, barreling towards a runaway truck ramp. Jon kept reminding us that the studio is an instrument, and Michael wanted it to sound like the breakdown two-and-a-half minutes into Shuggie Otis’ ‘Strawberry Letter 23.’”

Some breakdowns, however, are irreparable. Wriggins, a manual labourer and poet, calls “Hank” “a song about when you go to fix something that’s broken and realise the tools you’re supposed to fix it with are also broken.” Form follows function on the mesmerising outro of the single, which buzzes with the sound of a shoddy Craigslist guitar from Woonsocket, RI (incidentally, the home of the Museum of Work & Culture) getting chainsawed in two. Friendship is probably already your favourite band’s favourite band, a long-revered IYKYK of DIY with a devoted cult following from Wawa to In-N-Out. With Love the Stranger, the Friendship universe only continues to expand and grow more open-hearted, more inviting, with every passing note. It’s a record that locates the listener exactly where the listener is, and wherever that may be, makes a friend out of them, too. All said and done, the age-old maxim of “Mr. Chill” holds true: “You be real with me and I’ll be real with you”

Tracklisting

SIDE A

1 St. Bonaventure
2 What’s the Move
3 Blue Cano
4 Hank
5 Chomp Chomp
6 Love’s
7 No Way
8 Alive Twice

SIDE B

9 Quickchek
10 Ramekin
11 Mr. Chill
12 UDF
13 Ryde
14 Season
15 Kum & Go
16 Ugly Little Victory
17 Smooth Pursuit

Artist: Friendship
Label: Merge Records
Catalogue: MRG797LPC1
Barcode: 0673855079707
Format: LP or CD
Release Date: 29th July 2022

This product is a pre order and is scheduled to be released 29th July 2022.

This product is available on preorder with a limited discounted price.

                               

Preorder FAQs

When is this released?

Friendship - Love the Stranger is available for preorder now and has a scheduled release date of 29th July 2022. In the event of any delays to this date, we will try to keep this page updated, specifically in the 'release updates' tab. Sadly, we are seeing a lot of date changes in 2022 so please bear with us.

When will I get it?

So long as there are no delays in the manufacturing and distribution processes that would delay the release as scheduled, we aim to ship it to you to arrive on or as close as possible to release day.

Please note, If you make a purchase that includes a preorder item together with an in-stock item in the same order, we will typically hold your box until all items are in stock before we ship. You can read more about our shipping policies here.

What is the discount?

Friendship - Love the Stranger is listed at a special discounted pre order price (usually between 10-15 percent) that will revert to full price during the week of release.

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