Friday, March 26, 2021

newfamiliar flaunt their genre-bending abilities with latest single ‘How Can I?’

How Can I? by West Yorkshire-based outfit newfamiliar is a chilled yet fervent indie pop track.

It’s a fairly different sound to when they were Skinny Living a few years back. Ryan Johnston’s vocals are almost unrecognisable, but in a very credible way. It would seem their former rock n’ roll, bluesy variant of indie has matured into a more mellow, ruminative form of the genre with this track - but this is executed deliciously and it is evident that the passion remains.

The band’s classic acoustic sound carries this 3-minute-sharp track into its dreamy, dewy-eyed motive. The lyrics tell of a relationship - beau, friend or kin, it’s not clear - but the genuine regret and yearning behind the words are evident, and they are cleverly communicated alongside a bittersweet, addictive melody. Its introspective guitar prospect is inspissated by some gentle piano and echoey vocals that fill and nurture your eardrums.

Accompanying the track is an equally sweet music video comprising colourful, cartoonised graphics that show various everyday objects only coming to fruition through their silhouettes. It is an apt visual metaphor that unsheathes the message behind the lyrics - ‘how can I do it all without you?’ Two shoes become one, bricks fall, flowers wilter and a wine glass shatters. It tells the story of a figure incapable of bringing simple objects to life without their beloved. It seems effortlessly made but simultaneously thorough and symbolic; boldly conveying its simple yet heart-wrenching concept.

These guys have been around for a while now and have built a solid reputation in the indie sphere, but they deserve even more. Their talent is conspicuous and their back-catalogue commendable, and now this number proves that they are eager and capable of venturing into different styles within their work. It’s exciting to think of what contraption they will conjure up next.

Rowan Howard

@rlhowa on Twitter

@rowahowa on Instagram

Image: newfamiliar | Facebook

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