When Kurt Ballou gives your band a cosign, you get our attention around these parts. That's exactly the case with Friendship Commanders, a Nashville duo that the Converge guitarist worked in the studio with, co-producing their forthcoming album, MASS.
Now for some background history. Friendship Commanders is comprised of songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Buick Audra and drummer Jerry Roe, and their sound combines sludgy yet driving guitar riffs with infectious melodic vocal lines riding above them.
MASS is a concept album that finds Audra revisiting her years spent as an adolescent and young adult living in Massachusetts, which ended there with trauma. The record marks the third year in a row Ballou has worked with Friendship Commanders, which started with their 2020 EP, Hold on to Yourself.
Today, No Echo is presenting the music video for "High Sun," the third single from MASS. “When I moved away from Boston, I hauled an enormous amount of shame along with me," says Audra. "I had experienced these weird, high-impact moments that were not only troubling on their own, but the aftermath saw me painted as an outcast in my former social groups. And I was young enough to believe that I was the problem.
"I had been in one controlling relationship in which being different was treated as disobedient, and I was punished for it—publicly. Being a person who was wired to take on blame, I absorbed it. But now when I look at the story, I see the manipulation, the dynamics that repeated themselves. They were experts at making people feel like outsiders, experts at deflecting responsibility. I wanted to drag it all out into the daylight with this big, fuzzy song. I’ve been waiting a long time to say this.”
“The video for 'High Sun' was made by shooting parts of the song with a vintage Super 8 camera and then shooting the rest with a high-res digital camera," says Audra, who also directed the piece.
"I wanted the film texture to represent how memory is an imperfect imprint of an experience while still capturing it; memory also decays and ages with time like film. By having the two types of footage, two perspectives are reflected. One bleached by years, and one current, clear, and resilient. But both are valid. In some ways, I'm not who I was when I lived in Massachusetts, and in other ways, I'm exactly who I was. But here are two lenses to look through.”
MASS will be out on September 29th. The "High Sun" single comes out tomorrow (June 16th) and can be pre-saved here at your preferred streaming outlet.
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