By Cynthia Gross
This reading of Alchemical Records content is to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.
Northern, Virginia-based singer-songwriter BRASSIE released the studio version of her viral song, “friends like these,” on October 22. The single is a garage rock-inspired anthem about the harmful nature of social media, online data companies, and fake friends. “friends like these” serves as another reminder of the powerhouse lyricist behind one of the DMV’s most promising rising folk-pop acts.
Most everyone would agree that social media is pervasive. At the same time, it’s also a necessary tool for anyone who wants to stay connected and remain relevant in their business. When asked how she balances the two realities as an artist, BRASSIE shared, “I have to remind myself not to get sucked into the more toxic, validation-seeking side of social media. Instead, I try to focus on how it is an essential tool for musicians and using it is just one of my responsibilities as an aspiring career artist.”
“It helps to treat social media like a job,” BRASSIE added. “The pay is shit, my boss is a nosy prick, and most of my efforts go unnoticed or outshined by my coworkers. It makes me crazy sometimes, but I have to do it. And it’s not like I don’t enjoy all the work – it still involves making music, being creative, and actually connecting with some people.”
BRASSIE penned the lyrics to “friends like these” almost immediately after watching Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma.” She shared a clip of the song to TikTok, and it became her first piece of content to go viral. Several months later, she posted a full garage demo to YouTube and more clips to TikTok that also went viral. How is that for irony? BRASSIE then teamed up with her friend, producer Elijah Cruise, to create a proper studio version of the song.
“My phone knows me better than any human does / Facebook’s closer to me than my friend list ever was,” BRASSIE sings in the opening lines of “friends like these.” The edgy, thought-provoking song is both tongue-in-cheek and dead serious.
Beyond the masterful wordplay, the expression in BRASSIE’s voice – down to her very cadence – is impressive, adding a deeper layer of intensity and raw energy to the song. The juxtaposition of BRASSIE’s warm, sultry vocals with the unhinged composition makes the track all the more powerful.
The chorus of the song is brimming with sass, attitude, and dark humor: “With friends like these / I’m already lonely / If using me’s a breeze / Then they can fucking blow me.” The memorable guitar riff aligns perfectly with the overall composition, serving as an extension of the vocal energy.
“friends like these” will no doubt continue to steal the show for new and long-time fans of BRASSIE. The proliferation of social media is widely relatable worldwide, with its pervasive effects contributing to a host of mental and physical health ramifications. “Even as I write this, I got TikTok on my mind,” BRASSIE acknowledges later in the song.
“friends like these” prompts a number of questions, but like BRASSIE, audiences realize there’s no easy answer. Thankfully for listeners and viewers, BRASSIE is not one to back down from a seemingly insurmountable challenge. With her latest release, she commits to being part of the solution by promoting increased awareness and greater understanding – even while doing so through the infamous social media landscape.
Stay tuned for BRASSIE’s upcoming EP slated for release in 2022, in addition to her collaborations with fellow DMV artists, including Cat Janice.
This track has been added to our Alchemical Weekly YouTube Playlist.
Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
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