“Friends” Is a Casual Reminder That Sometimes the Safest Spaces Are Filled with Strangers, Not Friends

A newly formed band is kicking it into high gear with this alt-pop tune.

Braverijah Gregg

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This week: “Friends” by Twin XL (Position Music, 2019)

Why we’re into it: With sweet whistling and lyrics that give it a Donnie Darko-like tone, Twin XL explores the rare intimacy of a room full of strangers.

Sometimes the most beautiful and comforting moments happen between people who’ve never met. Whether a pleasant exchange on public transit or an inebriated bonding session with someone at a party, the unfamiliarity of two strangers conversing can feel more freeing than a conversation with the closest of friends. “Friends” hints at that same sense of unusual comfortability you can sometimes find in a room full of unknown people. Sure, not all rooms full of strangers are great—and may actually be quite anxiety-inducing—yet the trio touches on a freedom found in being completely anonymous.

What’s beautiful about “Friends” is that it walks you through a story of an introvert, a life role most listeners have played at one point or another. As the song progresses so does the character, moving forward from the opening lyrics of “Me myself and I/We don’t wanna go outside/We just wanna pass the time/Stressed out, yeah, that’s the vibe,” to “2 a.m. masquerade/Trying on a/Trying on a/Different name.” Personal development is key to any story, and the character’s own understanding of that as expressed in the lyrics makes this an incredibly well-executed song.

The track feels more like a movie than a tune; listeners have the song’s lyrical depth alongside the guys’ ability to craft such a catchy melody to thank for that. “Friends” is quintessential alternative pop and harks back to the golden days of the best indie/alternative summer anthem bops. It’s a song that brings a warmth to the daunting task of talking to strangers, a feat that makes this track the week’s find.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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