Friends Friends Explores Self-Discovery on Debut EP

Depending on whom you ask, “Nobody’s Sorry” was inspired by the journey to accept yourself, or drugs.

Friends Friends (Courtesy of Friends Friends)

The surrealist, DIY, and ever optimistic local alt-rock group Friends Friends will release their debut EP, Nobody’s Sorry, on Friday, June 21, with a release party at Holocene on Sunday, June 23. Self-published and recorded at Hallowed Halls, Nobody’s Sorry serves to formally introduce the quintet to wider audiences.

“Throughout the album there’s a lot of searching for self and in that, searching for accepting of oneself,” lead singer and songwriter Mack John says of the EP’s inspiration.

She singles out the opening track, “Shower Beer.” “The tagline throughout is ‘I’m on my way,’ which is kind of talking to the journey of the album.”

While John answered, bassist Pat Tarbum simply mouthed “drugs” in response.

The band first formed in 2023, with John and drummer Nate Anderson’s friendship first fermenting while working together at the late Laurelwood Brewing. From there, they formed Friends Friends with Anderson’s roommate, Rossi. Eventually gaining Tabrum and keyboardist Jenna Leigh, the band brings the rock to John’s arrangements. While Friends Friends has performed over the past year, an official release has potential to open many more doors for the group.

“To me, it feels like the vehicle to be able to explore more and get more opportunities,” Friends Friends guitarist Matt Rossi says. “I think this is a little part of our voice. This is the beginning baby steps of what we are just so people can see it, understand it. Now we have something to build on, which is great.”

Rossi believes their time to enter the Portland music scene is fortunate, given the pandemic’s upheaval of norms.

“I think Portland is really trying to figure out where it’s centralized as far as music goes,” Rossi says. I think we’re in a strange era of post-COVID, we came in at an interesting time. I’m excited we’re here right now to build on something new and try and throw an EP into the fire.”

Friends Friends asserts their place in the newly renovated scene with monthly shows, a schedule Rossi believes keeps things fresh for the audience.”I think it’s good for coming back with new material, getting people excited about it,” Rossi says. “Instead of just, yeah, you heard this two weeks ago and yeah, it’s going to be the same show!”

SEE IT: Friends Friends plays at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 503-239-7639, 8 pm Sunday, June 23. $15, $12 in advance.

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