Making serious in-roads into streaming services and digital platforms, the California-based Arizona native with Cumbrian-Scottish-Irish ancestry calls on all manner of influences and shadows for this debut mini-album.
After childhood difficulties with reading and writing brought computerised phonics sounds into his life, it seems a natural progression for Friedman to lean on digital means to express his feelings in music. To that extent the electronics feel unexpectedly organic and unforced.
Lead track Signals manages to weld a killer chorus and a hookline with the half-life of weapons-grade plutonium to a fiendishly straightforward rock-pop chord structure. What If, the new single, gives the Friedman vocal pipes a more commanding role with just a hint of vocoder to spice up the studio wizardry, while streaming hit SAD with its adult pop sound captures a gentler flavour.
Waiting on a Woman brings it back to basics with an acoustic guitar that finds a connection to link lovelorn yearning and ADD medication. It's a decent song - the stand out track for these ears - that is simply recorded and suggests there's more to mine from this rich vein.
The set concludes with recent hit Lemonade, an unabashed, devil-may-care guitar pop smash with Ibiza-popper Mike Posner in tow.
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