Past and present critical reviews.
Weaponize Your Love: Unveiling the Artistic Canvas of Friend Slash Lover
Weaponize Your Love: Unveiling the Artistic Canvas of Friend Slash Lover
Embark on a voyage through the vibrant, multifaceted artistic universe of “Friend Slash Lover,” an exceptional fusion of a musician, visual artist, and entrepreneur. His unique blend of skills and passion creates an unparalleled canvas that transcends conventional boundaries of artistry, opening new doors to creativity. His intriguing nickname, Friend Slash Lover, or FSL for short, encapsulates his unique duality—friendliness intertwined with passionate fervor, a marriage of two worlds that fuels his process.
Harnessing two decades of experience as a Creative Director and copywriter in Hollywood, including co-founding a leading boutique Entertainment Ad agency, FSL has honed his aesthetic to its core elements, expertly bridging the gap between genres and mediums. His journey started with an art school education from the esteemed Rhode Island School of Design and UC San Diego, which served as the crucible for his creative spirit. Now, with a sharp, polished aesthetic in hand, he is prepared to share his music with the world.
As a “word artist,” FSL found solace in the magic of phrases—quirky and original, using them as mirrors, screen prints, and stencils for many years. But then, a desire to give a new lease of life to his words led him to explore songwriting. He leverages his ability to function with less sleep as a superpower, seizing those extra hours each day to fine-tune his craft. “All the good music ideas come late at night, so I want to be awake and ready to receive them,” he says.
His music, an intoxicating cocktail of electronic sounds and catchy rock elements, draws inspiration from icons like David Bowie, Sigur Ros, Depeche Mode, Silversun Pickups, and Kurt Cobain. However, FSL’s artistic creativity doesn’t draw lines—it expands, pulling influences from the fine art world, cinema, and current affairs. “I love when I discover someone who has a completely original take on something,” FSL shares, illustrating his curiosity and open-mindedness.
FSL’s artistic journey, though studded with numerous accolades, isn’t devoid of humor or challenges. Challenges, for him, took the form of conveying his eclectic ideas to fellow musicians and producers. Initially resistant to traditional music theory, he learned to appreciate it as a form of communication, a revelation that has enriched his latest compositions.
FSL’s philosophy orbits around intuition and experimentation. “Just be free to try anything and fall flat on your face, because it’s just an experiment,” he advises. This unbridled freedom liberates him to create innovative expressions across various forms like posters, songs, or remixes. “Artists make art,” he declares. FSL’s approach to art seems to be an inherent compulsion—a boundless passion and purpose stirred with a bit of talent.
Moving forward, FSL yearns for his band to grace renowned venues from The Troubadour to the Hollywood Bowl, music festivals like Cruel World or Coachella, and to venture into crafting music for film and television. In Friend Slash Lover’s world, love is not just a feeling; it’s an art form, a weapon for creativity. The lyric, “Weaponize your love,” seems to beckon all aspiring artists to take their passion and wield it with precision, turning it into their ultimate weapon of expression. Looking at his journey, one thing is clear: the vibrant canvas of Friend Slash Lover is not just about creating art—it’s about living it.
FRIEND SLASH LOVER LOVES SIGUR ROS
Friend Slash Lover Loves Sigur Ros: L.A. indie/electronic project Friend Slash Lover told us about his Sigur Ros experience.
Friend Slash Lover: One gig that stands out in my mind is seeing Sigur Ros for the first time. I didn’t really know what to expect. I had only heard a couple songs. What I witnessed completely blew my mind. The sound was so big and full and ethereal, and the singer’s voice was angelic, but they still totally rocked. The gentleman sitting quietly next to me, wearing a nice suit with his legs crossed, turned out to be Iggy Pop. So that alone would’ve been worth writing home about.
The singer played his guitar with a cello bow and sang directly into the guitar pickups, and overall just created such a unique sound. His voice blended with the violins. It was really stunning. I went home totally inspired and bought a ticket to go back the next night.
Believe it or not, one of the songs on the new album, Disappearing Man, has a big, epic ending that was literally written in response to that concert. All the layers of high-pitched vocals and ethereal guitars build up and then break down and fade out to a very quiet ending. The lyrics are also a bit mysterious (I mean, who knows what Sigur Ros is saying, anyway?). It’s one of my favorites so far.
Friend Slash Lover Loves Sigur Ros: Friend Slash Lover’s “As Seen on TV (I’m the Actor Playing Me)” single is out now. His Mugged on Memory Lane EP is out later in the year.
PANCAKES AND WHISKEY
SONG PREMIERE: ‘THE MEMORY HOLE’ BY FRIEND SLASH LOVER
After a seven-year hiatus, Indie Rock/electronic artist out of LA Friend Slash Lover, just dropped an ultra-catchy and relevant song called “The Memory Hole,” which we’re proud to premiere today.
With a relentless bass-line, magical synths, tight percussion and lyrics that weave and flow, “The Memory Hole” brings us down a meandering path which we can dance on all while realizing that too much information can be troublesome for mental health. Most songs you can dance to, don’t usually have such a heady subject-matter and with lines like; “A sea of bad information sparked your imagination, and everything you used to know has gone right down the memory hole,” makes this single stand out so much (that and the amazing synth solo).
If you’re as excited as we are about this tune, then you’re in luck as Friend Slash Lover will be releasing an EP later in the year entitled Mugged On Memory Lane, so check back for more info.
Album Premiere: Friend Slash Lover Releases ‘Mugged on Memory Lane’
After a seven-year pause Los Angeles-based indie-rock/electro-pop Friend Slash Lover introduces a new album, Mugged on Memory Lane, a concept album probing the protagonist’s feelings of dislocation and disenchantment in the City of Angels.
Talking about the album, Friend Slash Lover says, “Hollywood, you had it coming. MUGGED ON MEMORY LANE is the sonic story of an artist and his demons in the city of angels. A modern blend of new wave, dark pop, and rock, Friend Slash Lover’s joyfully nihilistic takedown of his hometown is pure entertainment. Grab your popcorn.”
Initially, the project called Friend Slash Lover was an experiment to see if he could “create a buzz around an artist that didn’t really exist.” However, after a friend proposed he learn to play guitar, like Alice, he “fell down the rabbit hole and never climbed out.” Fascinated by the process of turning words and phrases into a “form of fine art,” he began writing.
Friend Slash Lover explains, “I write quirky, thought-provoking phrases. Sometimes they get etched onto mirrors because they take on a new meaning when you look at your own reflection while reading them. Sometimes, they become t-shirts or stencils, and of course, many of them started to become song titles and lyrics. In my other career, I write taglines for movie posters. It’s basically the same skill: Distilling a big concept down into a few words.”
Encompassing 10-tracks, entry points on the album include “The Memory Hole,” opening on sparkling colors riding a driving rhythm composed of tight, crisp percussion and a reverberating bassline. Rich, pressing vocals infuse the lyrics with tantalizing dream-like timbres.
“Until Time Flies” rolls out on dark, gritty guitars atop a contagious, propelling rhythm, featuring a walloping kick-drum. Whorling textures add smoldering coloration to the tune – a deliciously potent blend of indie-rock and tinted with electro-pop.
“2 Unaware” travels on shimmering hues as Friend Slash Lover’s warm, quixotic voice infuses the lyrics with sensuous tones. Tender strings give the tune wistful savors, adding to the creamy, pulsating pop flow of the harmonics.
Touches of new wave aromas give the dance-lite beat of “In Character” luscious momentum as vibrant vocals imbue the lyrics with tasty sonic filaments, low-slung yet intense. “Stupid Human” merges darkwave nuances with heavy layers of electro-pop energy, forming a powerful, almost risky, tune, surging with concentrated energy.
Elusively retro yet innovative and contemporary, Mugged on Memory Lane offers stylish electro-pop and indie-rock capped by sumptuous vocals.
friend slash lover Tackles Hollywood Culture with New Single “As Seen On TV (I’m the Actor Playing Me)” [Premiere]
Authenticity… It’s a term that leads a tenuous existence. We strive towards it and hope for it, but most often fall short of what shouldn’t be such a lofty goal. Hollywood has always had a flimsy relationship with authenticity, which is obvious to anyone who’s probably over the age of 7.
Indie/electronic act friend slash lover has revealed the brand-new single, “As Seen On TV (I’m the Actor Playing Me),” a punchy, groovy, blunt commentary on Hollywood culture. The song was inspired by that defining sound of the ’80s, personified by artists such as Tears For Fears, and ’80s-era David Bowie. It all comes ahead of the release of friend slash lover’s brand-new EP Mugged On Memory Lane, which will be released this fall.
Explaining the origins behind “As Seen On TV (I’m the Actor Playing Me),” “The song started out years ago as sort of a sarcastic love letter to LA. The original chorus was ‘Oh, Los Angeles, I hope you don’t mind if I forget some of my lines,’ but I expanded on that idea and wrote the new chorus as it is now. The city itself becomes one of the characters in the opening lines, ‘Hollywood got a facelift, but who took the bandages off of Los Angeles? Because everything’s such a mess.’ The idea that everyone is fake, or at least projecting something inauthentic about themselves, is personified in the chorus: ‘Have you seen me on TV? I’m the actor playing me.’”
For fans of friend slash lover, Mugged On Memory Lane has been a long time coming. The concept EP comes after a full seven-year hiatus. The songs will explore the album’s main character’s feelings of displacement and disenchantment, while trying to navigate their way through the realities of modern day LA. The EP is particularly relatable, for the undeniable role and influence that Hollywood has on virtually everyone. It diffuses culture globally, and affects us in ways we don’t even know or realize. Mugged On Memory Lane is both a love letter and a critique of Hollywood at the same time. It has moments of humour, sarcasm, and gloom, as the main character meets various highs and lows. The EP is a socially conscious set of songs, that show how thoughtful and introspective of an artist friend slash lover is.