Serendipity is a word that recurs in conversations with Brooklyn’s Friends, particularly when the subject is the band itself. Singer Samantha Urbani drops it to explain the band’s formation, then to describe its sound, and again to sum up its entire ethos – seemingly unconscious of the repetition.
Bored with her classwork at university, Samantha wrote songs on her laptop instead of studying. She sang one chorus idea into her phone whilst walking down the street, otherwise Friend Crush might have popped out of her head as quickly as it popped in. An email to her friend Matthew Molnar sparked the start of a band. A chat at a party with Nikki Shapiro about a shared musical crush would lead to his recruitment and a critical contribution: improving I’m His Girl with that signature bassline.
And then there were the bedbugs. Samantha’s childhood friend Lesley Hann was evicted during a citywide epidemic, and turned up looking for a place to stay, with roommate Oliver Duncan in tow. The pair happened to be a rhythm section.
Five friends rehearsed in Molnar’s apartment for a week and played a gig – under a placeholder name that felt apropos and ultimately stuck. The songs were an infectious and irreducible concoction of their collective pet sounds. The band were equally emphatic about rejecting common pet peeves (irony, cymbals). Friends could only have been born of those particular people, in that particular place.
Serendipity. What else would you call it?