Looking for something to put on your friend's mix that will make them feel instantly nostalgic for the summer of 2013 and potentially for things that haven't even happened yet? Canadian indie-pop outfit Paper Lions might have the song for you. Taken from their forthcoming sophomore LP My Friends, the titular track "My Friend" zeroes in on one such relationship with lyrics that are elegant in their simplicity. "I know you are my friend," croons John MacPhee tenderly, "and if I'd never met you, I would be different." I mean, how special is that?
"The lyrics for 'My Friend' were written in my family cabin in Belfast PEI, where we grew up," guitarist Colin Buchanan tells Hive. "The song shares two separate memories from childhood … [but] it's not necessarily about one person in particular. It's kind of universally applicable. The friends and family of our most developmental years are what shapes us into who we are today."
The band of childhood buddies has been compared to Band of Horses for their carefully considered take on melodic, emotional rock, but this song also has a beachy disco vibe, like early '00s dance rock slowed way down, or chillwave with unabashedly higher production values. They might hail from Canada's chilly Prince Edward Island, but you get the sense they've at least visited California, if only in their minds while listening to the Beach Boys. And the synths on the chorus are lazier cousins of the ones on Madonna's "Holiday."
Taken together, all of this makes for a great little genre-bending track, one that makes you want to get up and groove even as it tints the present moment sepia like a musical Instagram filter.
My Friends is out August 20 on Fountain Pop Records.