thu 25/07/2024

Album: Friendship - Love the Stranger | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Friendship - Love the Stranger

Album: Friendship - Love the Stranger

Unhurried Americana revelling in the wonder of day-to-day events

Friendship deal in an unhurried Americana which is never far from familiar touchstones

Over the past few years, Joe Pera Talks With You has been one of television’s joys. Each episode finds the small-town American music teacher navigating life in Upper Michigan. Unhurriedly, with good humour, he deals with the day-to-day small things. The big things are more complicated, but he finds his way. Every programme is a warm bath in goodness.

Joe Pera himself is a stand-up comedian who has created the character with his own name. Now, he has directed the promo film for “Hank” from Philadelphia band Friendship’s fourth album Love the Stranger. An older man goes by boat to Little Cranberry island – “real place, named for its cranberries" says the title sequence – where he's building what seems to be a wooden stave church. Also on the island, a woman sits by the water painting the shoreline. The band’s Dan Wriggins crops up singing. The rest of the band watch the painting's progress. The positives applying to Joe Pera Talks With You are common to the film for “Hank.”

The same can also be said for Love the Stranger. Friendship deal in an unhurried Americana which is never far from familiar touchstones. The album opens with “St. Bonaventure.” “Keep from brooding, keep moving, ‘til the end of the week,” sings Wriggins in a song with an “I Shall be Released” vibe. During the more up-tempo “Mr. Chill” Wriggins declares “I still need to love this little world.” Here, musically, there are hints of the 1970 Gene Clark song “One in a Hundred.” The Green On Red-esque “Ryde” is as strident as it gets.

Love The Stranger defines its space with clarity. The world fashioned is one where overstatement is anathema, where wonder is found no matter how much hurt has been dealt out. No surprise then that Joe Pera answered Friendship’s call.


The world fashioned on ‘Love the Stranger' is one where overstatement is anathema


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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