Siblings and pop practitioners BETWEEN FRIENDS are one of those bands that once introduced, quickly feel like the Best Damn Thing Ever. Want proof of that? Timely request, Dear Reader – they’ve just dropped their brand new EP ‘CUTiE’. Described by Brandon and Savannah Hudson (for it is they, etc.) as “our take on modern music television”, we asked them to run us through it front to back for our latest Artist’s Guide.
When we first made ‘hiii’, it started out as us making what we thought sounded like our own video game startup sound. We wanted the first song on ‘CUTiE’ to transport you into our world, like turning on a GameCube or something.
During the first several months of making the EP, we hadn’t really worked with anyone outside of ourselves. We were bunkered into our home studio, writing and making beats every day, trying to find the right sound for the project.
We came into contact with fellow producer Frans Mernick (ASAP Rocky, early Odd Future) and decided it would be cool to see what we’d make together. We went over to his home studio, and he played us a beat pack which had the lead synth line that is now ‘navigate’. Something about it reminded us of the music we got into through middle school – MGMT, Kid Cudi. We wrote the bulk of the song there and then took the pieces home and finished it that night. ‘navigate’ is us, sort of, re-tapping in with our listeners and telling them where we are now. Life can move in crazy ways; sometimes, it is hard to grasp it all.
Originally a ballad we wrote on piano, ‘orange juice’ is a song about taking a day trip. We wanted to make something colourful and reminiscent of the sounds we adore from the late 90s / early-00s. This was the first song we wrote for the project and definitely was a turning point for the direction the EP went in.
Sometimes it can be hard to fully digest sour feelings that linger after a relationship ends. This is a song about driving down someone’s street every day and thinking about what went wrong.
make more friends
After a super long day of writing, we took a breather and went outside for the first time that day. After coming back in the studio, I [Brandon] asked Sav what she’d tell herself 5 years back. If she had any advice. I turned on the mic without her knowing, and that’s how ‘make more friends’ came to be. We were listening to a lot of 50s “computer music”. Raymond Scott made a song called ‘Portofino 2’, and I wanted to make something that felt floaty underneath Sav’s dialogue. This is something we love a lot because it’s very in the moment. Something we can look back on.
‘try’ happened almost accidentally. We were messing around with laser noises and an acoustic guitar one day and wrote the song about wanting to be something special to someone you think about often. When we were making the song, we envisioned this antagonist, like a little demon trying to get an angel to love him even though they’re opposites.
The quintessential “want and need and desire” feeling. ‘more’ feels like driving around thinking about someone. We spent a summer going back and forth on this song, trying to capture a feeling. After bringing it all over with us, it finally took shape. It was like, everywhere we took the song, a new part would come to light.
I [Sav] originally wrote this song on my Wurlitzer home alone one night last year. I had acquired this strange karaoke machine that had a microphone with vocal effects. I attached it to my piano, so I could make weird sounds without going into a full production with B.’ baby girl’ is knowing something isn’t going to work with someone but giving everything in you to try to see through it all.
Growing up can be weird and awkward sometimes. We wrote ‘tall’ about coming into ourselves in a new way. It’s all internal dialogue, talking yourself up so you can puff your chest out a little. The first half of the song feels like a pep talk; slowly but surely, you end up standing a little taller after it. The second half is embracing a new confidence and feeling good about yourself. We thought this was the right way to end our project.
‘CUTiE’ to us is a personality. Something we always wanted to embrace but never had until now. It can feel super exhilarating, cresting as different characters and morphing into the people we always wanted to be.
BETWEEN FRIENDS’ new EP ‘CUTiE’ is out now.