California from FREUNDE


Music fans won’t be surprised to learn that two musicians from two different continents have collaborated to write a song. The modern age has captivated our imagination to reach beyond state lines and borders. For many in the creative community, the power of modern mixing, recording and writing is limitless. Still, it has to come down to a great song.

“California” from FREUNDE. is pretty close to great. There are so many things to like about this song from an American and a Swiss artists. The majority of the positives are strong musicianship, soaring harmonies and audience connection. I immediately stopped what I was doing to listen to this song – that instant rapport is pretty incredible for indie bands. “California” aims very high on harmonies and its chorus, and it does indeed surpass expectations and likability.

I felt like FREUNDE. really found their voice and certainly their groove. They stay in their lane. They accentuate the positives. It’s songs like “California” that make us writers feel like listening to them is not a chore, but rather an invitation to dive into deeper meaning and remember that not everyone is always brooding with pain and sorrow. It’s nice to just have fun and reminisce about first love and all that lovey-dovey crap. I mean experiences. Not crap. Leave your cynicism at the door and jump into this song with an open mind, and you will be better for it.

As a listener, though, I felt like the lyrics were just a little too generic. If this were a novel, I don’t think the words would leap off the page. “I seen her waiting at the bus stop..” they sing.  California” really channels the warmth and breezy from the Pacific Coast. Still, “California” should be considered for anyone’s musical library. They didn’t take many lyrical risks. Its simplicity in following a girl as she’s stranded at a station is interesting. But, perhaps this in lies their genius. Why break the pattern of the great American pop song? Just add a few alternative tweaks and there you have it. With the additional of some more country-flavored tin guitar riffs, FREUNDE. have quite a song.

Kudos to these globetrotting friends (freunde in fact means ‘friend’ in German) for sharing ideas and art to create a fun, ready for summer song. Fans of the Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket (as well as Glen Phillips) will definitely dig this track. FREUNDE. can tap their hat to the 90s sounds, but they have managed to mix in some country flare to create a pretty damn good song.

Sebastian Cole