Ontario, Canada’s five-piece pop-rock outfit Good Friend was able to make their debut four-song EP Good Friend due to the fortune of having good friends. Good Friend started as a collaboration between friends James Stephens (guitar/vocals) and Shawn Fisher (violin). Stephens had written a number of songs and the two decided they wanted to make them into an EP.
After playing with band mates and saving up enough money to record, Stephens’and Fisher’s other band mates bailed and the pair found themselves at an impasse. Though they soon fished up bassist Kyle Dreany, drummer Kolston Gogan and guitarist Tanner Noth and began a marathon rehearsal session that resulted in the four tracks, which became the Good Friend EP.
The Good Friend EP opens with the title track “Good Friend” a shoulder- swaying and twang-y groove that sees its founding members using their acoustic guitar and violin to play off one another. It gives the song a groove, along with a catchy bass riff dynamic it wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Likewise on the following “Drowning in a Cauldron” which has a slow jam band groove to it, one also hears the nuances provided by the mixture of Stephens’ mellow acoustic guitar paired with Noth’s subtle but still noticeable electric guitar. “The Things I'd Never Chose” is slow and ambling with deep alt country influences. It has that recorded live and off the cuff feel to it. It also showcases James Stephens’ deep and bluesy vocals.
The EP closes with the skiff-rocker “In Norway” a fast moving acoustic jam, which plays on the band’s strengths of pitting the fast scrapes of acoustic guitar against the finer plucks and peels of the violin. As if that’s not enough it also contains the line “turns out you can’t just love a whore/In Norway.”
The Good Friend EP is a good introduction to Good Friend. The band sticks to what works for them, which is to craft melodic yet simple alt country pop tunes.
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