words by tom johnson
photograph by lora mathis
It’s one of songwriting’s most endearing traits, to flip the tone of the song right at the end, an unseen juxtaposition that frames everything that came before it in a different light to what you initially thought. Taken from their fast-approaching new record, Tall Friend’s “KB” is one such track, a gently reflective piece of music that might have drifted in to the ether if it wasn’t for its closing line that hits like a thunderstorm.
Tall Friend have always had the ability for such things, their previous Tawl Friend EP was one of our favourite releases of last year, small songs carved in to big shapes that could change the shape of your day with one listen. Now readying their new release, the nine-track Safely Nobody’s (via Exploding In Sound), the trio have continued in that same rich vein as before, preceding the full release with a couple of beautifully detailed tracks that have raised expectations even further.
“I’m not talking to god, I’m just singing to you.”
Perhaps their most crushing moment to-date, KB starts with an almost childlike eye for melodrama, plaintive lyrics about a dad watching storms and childlike confessions that mean very little at all: “I can recite three myths from memory
and at playtime i’m always the doggy.” Joined by a simple backing of soft strums and percussion, the track is decidedly deft, Charlie Pfaff’s wavering voice creating the kind of atmosphere that only seems to exist inside the empty rooms of quiet houses, inside walls that hold memories within frames or not.
Then comes the change, the song seemingly set in its way, repeating its opening line (“My dad watches storms like he’s looking in the mirror“) before the instrumentation falls away, leaving only Pfaff’s voice and its soft confession: “And I love you, could I make it any clearer?“, the silence that follows seemingly lasting longer than it does as the words hang in the stale air, and then we move on again, to somewhere else because, in the end, that’s what we always find a way to do.
Listen to the track below right now; pre-order the new record here.
Safely Nobody’s is released next week, via Exploding In Sound
You can buy it here