Philly-based Friendship recently announced their signing to Merge Records, and today they are excited to reveal that on July 29, they will release their first album for the label. Titled Love the Stranger, the LP was co-produced by the band and Bradford Krieger. It will be available on CD, LP, and opaque “blue galaxy” Peak Vinyl. Pre-order Love the Stranger here.
The band also has shared the first proper single off the album, “Hank.” Friendship’s Dan Wriggins, a manual laborer and poet, says the single is “a song about when you go to fix something that’s broken and realize the tools you’re supposed to fix it with are also broken.” Form follows function on the mesmerizing outro of the track which buzzes with the sound of a shoddy Craigslist guitar from Woonsocket, RI, getting chainsawed in two. The video for the single was directed by Joe Pera, an American comedian and the star of Joe Pera Talks With You. He shares:
“Dan Wriggins sent me the Friendship album and as soon as I finished listening, I asked if I could possibly direct a video for it.
While brainstorming concepts with Dan and Michael Cormier-O’Leary, we came upon the idea of going to Little Cranberry Island in Maine, where Dan has family roots and used to work as a lobster fisherman. We spent a few early spring days on the island going to the bathroom in an outhouse and following the workdays of two of the most interesting people Dan knows there, Henry, a carpenter, and Kaitlyn, an artist.
Editor Grant Farsi helped sort out the 10+ hours of footage me and Michael Kaplan shot, and that’s the story of the video. Me and Friendship are hoping it will get a million views on YouTube and lead to a collaboration with Shakira.”
Love the Stranger moves like a country record skipping in just the right spot, leaving its fellow travelers longing for a place they’ve only visited in their dreams. Guitarist Peter Gill, drummer Michael Cormier-O’Leary, bassist Jon Samuels, and hawkeyed balladeer Dan Wriggins map out the group’s particular, breathtaking landscape and invite the listener to share in its glory.
The record’s images craft a symbolic language of high and low Americana, both evocative and consistently accessible. Spending time with Love the Stranger creates a community—one in which the window between the listener and the music-maker shatters in full, until all that remains are the fragments you decide to pick up together.
Photo Courtesy: Charlie Boss