Friends In America are a duo consisting of Matthew Rawlings and Hamish Black, who make atmospheric synth assisted post-rock and heartfelt indie, anchored by lyrics than claim to draw influence from the likes of Charles Bukowski and Phillip Larkin.
On new single ‘Flat Tire (I Can Cope)’ they sound like Elliott Smith fronting some of Depeche Mode’s more downbeat material.
Moody synth chords wreath the duo in darkness as Rawlings plaintively repeats “can I cope?” as if only something chemical will do.
The first person narrative heightens the desperation, painting a picture of a young man seeking solace in a dark place.
‘Flat Tire’ was written as a companion piece to a painting featured in the Create Curate Relate exhibition, which focuses on experiences of mental health, a subject which both members describe as being close to their hearts.
Plaintive, atmospheric and topped off by Rawlings’ heartfelt vocals, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for what Friends in America get up to next.
Words: Max Sefton