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Album Review: Friends – Manifest!

With tangy sharp bass lines, hand drum percussions, and snappy optimistic guitar riffs, Manifest! is a layered sensation of instrumentals and pixie-cute female vocals with a sugary coating. Integrating an array of poppy compositional patterns for you to get your head around, it’s an exciting collaboration of all things summery.

Opening track ‘Friend Crush’ sets the scene of a beach-set Hawaiian disco. The proceeding track, ‘Sorry’, is awesomely catchy with a bouncy rhythmic drum beat, forceful hummed vocals and again that grounded, deliciously gritty bass line.

This album’s USP is easily identifiable by Friends use of fruitful drumming arrangements, exotic instrumental inputs and pitch-pretty vocals. There are even undertones of The Police emerging in ‘A Thing Like this.’ Lead singer and alt pin-up Samantha Urbani uses innovative pitching throughout each song to vary her lyrical behaviour which means that every track is dynamically pleasant.

Midway through the album, ‘A Light’ introduces some attitude to Manifest!.The major key is fragmented with high twilight-themed notes and background swirling, spooky melodies. The second half of the record experiences a turn to the midnight hour as more minor keys are employed, just like you were dancing on the beach under the moonlight. Nonetheless Friends still manage to keep spirits high with a dancey persuasion in ‘Ideas on Ghosts’ and definitely do not compromise on their unusual instrumental additions.

The half way eeriness and melancholy in several songs changes it up a bit, ensuring there is a song for your everyday mood changes within this one album. Do not be perturbed by the adjustment – the stuff is just as good as the start of the album. An especially feisty number is ‘Va For Gor Du’ if you need to let off some steam while jumping around a bit.

Manifest! is foot-tapping, creative wholesomeness with ambience and character. Friends have got it right with this release. Oh, and not to forget: loving the maracas.

-Alix Blankson



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