Recent Hook features, Dear Friend aren't stopping just yet!
We're back talking about them again, and if you need a refresher here's a quick one (stay with us), Dear Friend is relatively new, but the four piece isn't shy when it comes to music. The band is centered around singer-songwriter Kenny Luu, and includes Julia Rainer (guitar & backing vocals), Will Wright (bass), and Branden King (drums). With a talented and driven group coming together, all of which have current backgrounds/side projects in the scene, Dear Friend has the opportunity to prove themselves to be a really stellar up & coming band!
Which is what we're here to talk about - and more specifically, Dear Friend's self-titled album!
The debut album was released in June of this year, and can be defined as an impressive, collected, smooth moving debut album. The 10-track collection is a genre blending melting pot of songs that embrace what different genres, such as pop-punk, shoegaze, surf-rock inhabits morally.
Check out the track list below!
Dear Friend Tracklist:
1. Fall Asleep
2. Friends Are Gone
3. Patient With Me
4. Hope You Know
5. On Our Own
6. The Sun
7. In My Mind
8. Wake Up
9. Hardly Ever Right
10. Want You To Stay
"Fall Asleep" is like the beginning to a movie soundtrack, and the opening song sets the tone easily for the rest of the album. With comparisons to bands like Weezer, or The Pixies, "Fall Asleep" is a dreamy, summer-y song. Lead singer, Kenny Luu's voice is an ambient voice behind Julia Rainer and Will Wright keeping a steady, moving sound on guitar & bass. All the while, Branden King sets the beat behind them.
What I really appreciate about Dear Friend's music was their ability to sound like one collective unit. No person in the band seemed more important, or more emphasized than the other. Instead, each member feeds off of one another that's similar to the current in water - the constant movement forward is what creates, and here the creation is so gosh darn smooth and good.
Of course, the album upholds staples of the genres we discussed above - and current trends in the scene are prevalent also. Songs about "you," or being good enough, or what it feels like to be alone and desperate. However, none of these songs come off as dark in anyway, kept strong by the background of powerful, punk-esque sounds compared to Luu's voice.
One of my favorite tracks is "Hope You Know," because it's always better "with you there to hold my hand," and maybe that's what I've been trying to describe this album as. Right now in this moment, songs like "Hope You Know," or "Hardly Ever Right," or "The Sun," feel like the kind of tracks that can get you through. And close to their namesake, Dear Friend feels familiar and comfortable - and closing track "Want You To Stay" works in the same way that the opener did, a beat to get behind, lyrics to get attached to - Dear Friend wants us to stay, and we're not going anywhere.
I listened to this album a whole lot on the beach at night, with the steady break of waves behind it. I'm not saying that's the best way to listen to it, but it might be.
The Hook gives Dear Friend a 8.5/10, and we're hopeful that this is only the beginning in an upward climb of really good music.
Dear Friend: Facebook // Bandcamp