Young Friend tries to convey a sense of camaraderie with his music. Maybe a memory, a moment of realization, or simply the reassurance that we are all in this together. “I’d say that I want people to feel like the music is something that they can relate to,” he says. “I want to tell a story that’s compelling and express things that we’re all thinking.” The success of his last release, HOW DID WE GET HERE?, was a validation of all his hard work. “I’m really glad that people like it. Those songs occupied my brain for nearly two years, so it’s rewarding to see people connecting with it the way it connected with me.” The fans carry this same energy into his live performances. “It feels really good when I play shows. Watching people connect with the music in person is the coolest thing in the world.”
His latest EP, scaredy cat, and accompanying single, “feral canadian scaredy cat,” flows through complex negative emotions and anxieties. He’s apprehensive, but surely the catharsis will be more than worth it. “Well, ‘feral canadian scaredy cat’ is really the thesis of the whole EP. The project explores feelings of isolation and fear, and I really feel like it’s all summed up in fcsc. The EP as a whole is quite vulnerable, and I feel really lucky that I get to share this side of myself with the world (and also a little afraid).” The unusual name is a self-deprecating term of self-awareness. “I was in the studio with my producer David Marinelli and really wanted to use the phrase ‘scaredy cat.’ David suggested that we tag on feral canadian to really drive the theme home. It’s a bit of a mouthful but the song wouldn’t be the same without it.” young friend challenges himself to cope and resolve lingering attachments. “The EP is really just me confronting this side of myself and learning how to get over it. I don’t think I’m as much of a scaredy cat as I used to be.”
Music has allowed him to gain a healthier perspective during relationship postmortems. “It’s definitely a scary way to process your feelings, but it helps me better than anything else so I can’t really see myself giving it up.” He is becoming more emboldened to show his true colors as an artist. “I think at this point in time I’m trying to really let my influences come through in the music. When I first started writing I was making a lot of pop music, as I felt it was what I should be making. But the thing is, I’ve never really listened to much pop music. I mostly listen to alternative and folk. I’m trying to let that side of myself show more and care less about trying to appeal to the pop/indie sphere.” However, growth remains a work in progress. “It’s such a difficult thing to do. We’re all so hard on ourselves. I think I’ve gotten better, but I think I’ve still got a ways to go.” There’s no shame in taking your time to learn self-love.
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young friend Faces Difficult Emotions in New “scaredy cat” EP. Photo Credit: Zachary Vague.