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Artist of the Month: BETWEEN FRIENDS

by Arianna Sergio One of my favorite up-and-coming artists right now is BETWEEN FRIENDS. After hearing their debut single — “suburban wonderland” — my senior year of high school, I was immediately drawn to their sound. I dove head first into the rabbit hole that was their Spotify artist page and wondered how this band, that I now adored, wasn’t more popular. When scrolling through their artist page, I noticed that they only had their one single released, and it had a little over 1 million streams. 1 million streams is a significant amount don't get me wrong, but it blew my mind that they weren’t amassing more buzz. I was stunned. Their self dubbed “laptop-dream pop” was something I couldn’t get out of my head. I found myself reverting back to “suburban wonderland” over and over again. Now, they not only have that single, but they also have an EP titled, we just need some time together.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKuBVGFnW24&ab_channel=BETWEENFRIENDS-Topic From Savannah and Brandon Hudson to The Heirs to BETWEEN FRIENDS Brandon and Savannah Hudson knew they had a passion for performing at an extremely young age. Brandon taught himself how to play guitar; from there, he rapidly grew curious and enthusiastic about writing his own music. Savannah began singing and dancing as soon as she was old enough to walk, and inevitably, she found herself writing music with Brandon. Thus, the start of a masterful musical duo was born.  In 2013, they auditioned for America’s Got Talent and got a resounding “yes” from all four judges. That yes brought them to Las Vegas, where again, the judges were impressed with how talented the 13-year-old and 15-year-old siblings were. It was at the Quarterfinals where their America’s Got Talent adventure ended. The duo didn’t collect enough votes to be sent to the Semifinals, so they packed their bags and headed home.  Two years later, the brother-sister duo formed a band with Savannah on vocals; Brandon on vocals and guitar; Brennan Benko on drums; Alex Flagstad on guitar; and Eian McNeely on bass and keys. This Los Angeles based band called themselves The Heirs, or HEIRS,  and were recognized as an alternative/indie band. They released their debut EP “Ecliptic” and found themselves on the lineup of the 2016 Vans Warped Tour The Heirs quietly drifted apart, but some of the members stuck together. It was then, in 2017, when BETWEEN FRIENDS was created. The Hudson siblings assembled this new band with their drummer, Benko — from The Heirs — and this super-trio was now complete.  Their current sound has definitely changed from what The Heirs sound was. The Heirs were focused on the typical teenage angst and rebellion, whereas BETWEEN FRIENDS is mature and grown and focuses on young adult subjects — like the complications of love and heartbreak. They dress those topics up with an upbeat, pop overcoat. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="325"]Between Friends - We Just Need Some Time Together (2019, VBR, File) | Discogs Image from Discogs[/caption] A breakdown of we just need some time together BETWEEN FRIENDS released their debut EP we just need some time together on April 5, 2018. Throughout this EP, they exhibit what it’s like to be young in LA and share their intimate thoughts and feelings through the art of music. Their EP cover art displays Savannah’s bare back, with the title of the EP written on her in orange capital letters. She is surrounded by a wide array of colorful flowers. She is holding, presumably, her brother's hand to the right. From the aesthetic floral fantasy that is the cover to the personality-filled song titles, everything about this EP is absolutely sensational.  “iloveyou” is the first song off of their EP. This song discusses earnestly looking back on the old times you have with someone, specifically in a relationship. The line, “I love you, tenderly, tragically,” is repeated throughout the entire bridge and chorus. This line is one that their listeners can surely relate to. It’s certainly one that hits home for me. It’s about loving someone so dearly and so deeply, but at the end of the day it’s merely young love. That person wasn’t “the one.” It ultimately didn’t work out; therefore, it ended in tragedy. They did a live version of “iloveyou,” which is just as phenomenal, if not better, than the studio version. This song has such an alluring hook, and in the live version it’s the star of the show.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GJIJlVnLN4&ab_channel=BETWEENFRIENDS “u can still come over” is an ode to past relationships that will always mean something to both parties involved, despite the fact that they are over. Even though those relationships are over, the memories and moments shared between those two people will always hold a special place in their hearts. This song sounds like it’s dripping wet, while also being a track pulse. With its downtempo beats, it’s a relaxed song you could blast on maximum volume in a car with friends and cruise and vibe to it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62q0R9aCOR8&ab_channel=BETWEENFRIENDS “affection” is my absolute favorite track from not only this EP but my favorite track they have ever released. They express an inability to find the desired affection they crave; because of that, they fall back on each other — like a back-up plan — to make up for it. They aren’t willing to let go of each other. Even if they are conscious that that person isn’t right for them and are still left unsatisfied in one way or another, they need each other to fill their needs of being loved and giving/receiving affection. Some form of affection is better than none even if it leaves you feeling empty. The chorus is, “Oh I’m looking for affection in all the wrong places/And we’ll keep falling on each other to fill the empty spaces,” is the perfect example of that. This line emphasizes that they are not falling for each other, rather falling on each other. The tone of Savannah’s haunting vocals over the dreamy synth-beat will be sure to make you melt.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJoMqYumxmA&ab_channel=BETWEENFRIENDS BETWEEN FRIENDS explores being young, reckless, adventurous, and ultimately having fun in “better friends.” It’s about living by your own rules and doing things that you want to do. In the chorus, "If I looped my life to live again I'd pick more roses/ And pick better friends who like to sleep in the daytime/ Fall in love and kiss at night,” it discusses picking better friends who will do spontaneous things with them that makes them truly feel alive. This is my other favorite song on the EP because it’s nostalgic of the times of being in high school and doing wild things with your friends.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGASobWoiwE&ab_channel=BETWEENFRIENDS-Topic “blushing!” is the final track off of their EP. It’s simply about wanting to see that special person who makes you giddy and gives you butterflies; makes your cheeks rosy; and leaves you, well, blushing. BETWEEN FRIENDS celebrates that feeling of new-found love and the delightful memories associated with that. The lavish melodies mesh well with Savannah’s soft and warm vocals.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUTIX0Z7Kfs&ab_channel=BETWEENFRIENDS-Topic When will they release new music? BETWEEN FRIENDS hasn’t released any new music since we just need some time together; that means  they haven’t released new music in over two years. So, the question on everyone’s mind is when will they release new music? When will the wait for new music end?  I can’t guarantee anything soon, but in an interview with Ones to Watch, BETWEEN FRIENDS said, “We thought this [we just need some time together] would be a good intro for us and we love being so hands on with everything throughout the process,” so I can infer that this EP being an “intro” for them means there will be new music in the future. At least, one can hope that there is. It did take them two years to release we just need some time together, so hopefully by the end of this year — or by the beginning of next year — we will have some new music to listen to. If not, you know I will be going back to “suburban wonderland” for the millionth time.

Sources: Galore, Ones to Watch, San Gabriel Valley Tribune Images: Discogs, YouTube Featured Image: Forbes