It’s been a hard couple of months for all of us having to deal with the effects of Coronavirus. Lockdown isn’t easy at the best times, but if it’s any consolation the newest offering by Sydney’s The Dead Love is sure to ease some of the pain. Their newest single, “My Friends” is a raw and sincere dive into the effects that social distancing have had on the three-piece and those around them, and if you’ve been looking for your own isolation anthem, safe to say this is probably it.
Opening with the sombre musings of guitarist and vocalist Stevie Knight, there’s an undoubtable relatability channelled through the sound of his voice. His vocals, which are usually charged by Knight’s typical grit sound devoid of that energy, as they feel weighed down by isolation and guided by sadness. The melancholy is unmissable in the song’s beginning lyrics, “Feeling one tenth of my brain at capacity, I miss my friends and I miss how it used to be,” with the opening statement setting the tone for the remainder of the song.
Soon joined by bassist Clint Ossington and drummer Miles Cochrane, the instrumentals of the song are defined by the solemnity that the members approach their craft with. The dire tones of guitar pull at the heart strings, while the slow strum of bass dwells deep underneath it, moving to the beat of gentle drums. Despite dwindling in desperation, there’s a genuine warmth to the song that listeners should be able to connect with while listening to “My Friends”. The loneliness is a struggle that we’re all dealing with in our own separate ways but for a short three minutes, this track is the embrace we’ve all been needing.
This embrace, like a warm hug on a winter’s night, enfolds listeners as the song’s chorus breaches. With everything done remotely, all the members of the band recorded their own parts alone and sent them through yet the song truly comes together so nicely that you could never tell. In true isolation spirit, the song’s chorus, and later its outro, is accompanied by the voices of many of the band’s friends who all recorded their takes remotely to be included on the finalised track. It provides genuine depth and highlights the strong sense of togetherness maintaining our music scene in these hard times.
“I miss my friends and I miss how it used to be”
And if you thought that was special, the accompanying music video for “My Friends” is something else. Championed by footage of the band’s 2019 UK and Europe tour, the video is also intersected with home-recorded footage of friends of the band singing along throughout. Members of 22 different acts including Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly, Columbus and more make appearances in what is an entirely wholesome watch that once again hits the idea of community for a home run.
The song leans more into the band’s punk edge than ever before, shifting away temporarily from the rough grunge sound that defined their 2019 effort, The Extinction of Unicorns. The stylistic change is fitting for the content of the song, with Knight explaining that the song was born from the frustration that comes with self-isolating and the effects that it’s had on his loved ones. With the song coming around five weeks into isolation he explains, “My girlfriend broke down in the kitchen, as she had left the house maybe once or twice during this whole period. I could see it was having a very real effect on her mental health.”
An emotional ballad fuelled by frustration, “My Friends” is a heartfelt approach to the troubles of self-isolation. While glum at the best of times, the song is honest and relatable with its genuine connectability for listeners sure to be a highlight for all who hear it. Despite the melancholy, the hint of positivity that glistens through – especially in its accompanying music video – is about as good as it gets right now. We all miss our friends and how it used to be, but I’m sure that “My Friends” is going to be an incredible help to tide us all over until things begin to get back to normal.