Friends of Foes go one step further with State Of Mind

We’ve heard all sorts of comparisons every time we’ve had conversations about music, but having it compared to cooking is a first. Yet, Friends of Foes‘ drummer Keegan Stretch noted that “the coming together of ingredients and flavors in a dish has a way of harmonizing like instruments in a song…” “I love to cook”, he confides. Keegan surely knows well about harmonizing elements. He’s been doing it for years with his band, who have just released their new album “State of Mind” on October 12. A new challenge for them, not only for being their debut full-length but also their first release with a renewed line up.

Canadian band Friends Of Foes have been going through changes since our first encounter. It has shaped them into what they are today. Going from a four-piece to 3 members, as well as welcoming a new vocalist came with its fair share of challenges. However, it’s in their current form, with 3 members actively participating in the creative process that they thrive and feel they can evolve towards their goals. They knew that they were expected to turn with the arrival of Danielle Huot, their new singer. So it’s with finding a balance within the trio – completed by Matt Stinn (Guitar) – and a good dynamic that they could achieve what they wanted with the album and ultimately built strength. “It encompassed what we were already good at and also opened the window for so much more”, explains Danielle. In fact, it allowed them to push boundaries and test new waters.
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Keegan agrees, adding that their differences bring diversity and allows them to create music that provides different levels of emotions. If many tracks on the record feel good and easy (Montreal), others, such as closer Heaven Made are more intense “and can put you in a trance because of it’s full and intense atmospheric tones,” according to Danielle. Managing to gather one strong unit around all of these various elements helps the trio connect emotionally, with more intention and engagement and ultimately connect emotionally to the listener as well.
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Their interconnected groove and rhythm show pretty well on the track Bare Boned, for instance: “Groovy, a bit slower and has a weird industrial/electronic vibe to it”, describes Keegan. This is a statement for who they are today: A band that originated in pop-rock, only to evolve towards alternative/indie. This is where Friends of Foes found more freedom to be fresher and catchier, but also darker and slower when needed. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we wrote more songs like that”, he adds.
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It’s difficult to understand what interests people. The band does tour a lot in their homeland and are well aware that human interaction makes a huge difference on the road to success. But beyond that, musicians always have to keep things fresh and interesting. Creativity is often fueled at different places. As a dancer and also a student in Art history, singer Danielle is never completely disconnected from art but observes it in different forms, which probably helps in raising new ideas. How to stand out? What do people want? We are overwhelmed by the new music and sounds on a daily basis and duality surfaces where humans constantly need new things, but not too unsettling. That’s where Friends Of Foes tried to position themselves. “I think most people want to hear something new but also something that is already somewhat familiar. We try to make music that is diverse so that even if someone just likes that one song, it would be enough to throw it onto a playlist.”
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Friends Of Foes don’t make the type of music we’re being thrown at every day in commercials or at the mall. But at the same time, it’s not totally alien and reminisces of your favorite Indian-summer(y) movie soundtracks. It feels natural and effortless (listen to Forever Yours) and makes you at ease. Isn’t that what music should be about in the end?
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In the future, Friends Of Foes hope to keep connecting with more people and to take their music beyond the borders; touring new places such as Europe.
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Friends Of Foes – ‘State Of Mind’, available now.

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