C.K. Flach returns at the top of his game, complete with the full throttle ambiance of The Rising Tide. Friends is a huge song, classic country-rock in some ways, entirely alternative in others. The instrumentation lays the foundation strongly from the offset, the music is vibrant, bright, chaotic even. The pace is intense, high energy flickers in and out of the mix throughout. The artist’s unique leading voice appears completely familiar now, carrying the story-line and this type of performance and music beautifully well.
There’s something really interesting about the structure of this song and the nature of the writing on the whole. As stated, it feels nostalgic and comforting in a lot of ways, but it also feels a little unpredictable. The verses showcase a short succession of notes and a long collection of lyrics, an uncommon set-up for anything that isn’t hip hop or alt-pop. The effect is that you find yourself following the details of the story along with absolute affection. C.K’s voice has this depth and authenticity to it that seems a little vintage, but not quite so. The recording in itself has a very crisp, now feel to it, and that really helps bring out the skill and wonder of the musicianship.
By the time the four and a half minute experience is over, it feels like a hell of a lot has come to pass. As you listen again, you hear even more, and then onward from there the whole thing becomes more and more calming and satisfying in the way that it unfolds. It’s fresh, really – an unusual way to write yet bringing with that something hugely refreshing. The classic energy of the music is brilliant, the band perform superbly at every moment. The songwriting is wonderful, complex yet accessible, and forever interesting.