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Review: This Bliss – Friend

Friends.

We all have them, or at least one should hope so. Good friendships, or any relationships for that matter, are built on the important cornerstones of communication and trust. While most friends should certainly have your best interest in mind, the truth of the matter is, not every “friend” actually does. Some people will use you, some people will backstab you, some people have their own sick & twisted agendas, and some people are just plain old mean. I know exactly what that feels like … and I’m sure many of you do too. 

Boston-based electro-pop trio This Bliss released their new single Friend” on January 29th, which was the first single from their brand new album, Retroshade (A name perfectly in keeping with the retro 80’s synthpop style of the single).

On their Facebook post promoting the single, This Bliss states: “You know those friends you are probably better off not having? That’s what this song is about. We’ve all had that experience at some point: The person who only calls you in a crisis or is only able to talk about themselves, never having any energy left over to provide you support or even puts you down to make themselves feel better.”

On that note, it is incredibly refreshing to hear a song about a friendship breakup. It’s a much different feeling than breaking up with a partner; it can sometimes be even more vulnerable and painful. The song itself is quite upbeat given the downbeat nature of the content. As if to say: “Haters gonna hate, but I’m just going to keep on dancing”.

That’s exactly what this song is: a full-fledged dance track. The drumming, provided by Nick Zampiello, contains both an electronic and almost acoustic mixture that is a perfect compliment to the synth’s bass heavy booms. Jess Baggia’s smooth vocals are both quiet yet commanding, soft yet fierce. This is what makes This Bliss’s sound so unique. There is always a constant juxtaposition present within their mix and music, creating a signature sound. I feel as though this contrast goes hand in hand with the theme of the song, which is how you can be both vulnerable AND strong, loving and taking care of yourself despite someone trying to bring you down.

The chorus further drives the point home:

 

“You don’t want a friend

You just want a favor

A point you will belabor and on and on

You don’t want to spend

A moment you pretended on me

When I know we’re done” 

 

This repetition of which could be loosely interpreted that the speaker here knows that the friendship is over deep down, yet still endures additional suffering. It’s so difficult to confront the pain and confusion of realizing that you’re being used that you may even ignore it at first. That is, until the last verse’s lines, when it finally hits a breaking point: 

 

“Fool me once

Fool me twice

I must be out of my mind

Fool me once 

Fool me twice

I’ve had it this time”

 

The line “I must be out of my mind” in particular struck a chord with me. When you’re having a falling out with someone whom you’ve always considered a close friend, there’s always going to be some self questioning, especially when they’re incredibly deceptive and try to gaslight you. You start to wonder if what’s happening to you is actually normal and if you’re overreacting. And once you realize that it isn’t, and you’re not, what are you supposed to do? How could you imagine your life without this person you still love, even though you know they’re bad for you? But I hear this song, and its upbeat synths and smooth high notes, and it goes to show how much better life is when you only let in the people that uplift you. I hear this song, and I think about the strength it took me to do the right thing for myself, and I feel proud. Simply put, this song has major bad bitch energy. Listening to it is an act of self love. So the lesson here is to walk away from those who tricked you once you realize they don’t actually care about you at all. No— dance away from such people. Don’t ever let them get to you, and don’t ever let them stop you from dancing.