The new track from New York duo Eighty Ninety “Better as Friends” is reminding me a lot of my most favourite The 1975 track “Somebody Else.” I think it’s because both the melodies are quite similar. Rather than spoil my enjoyment of the track, it adds some plus points to it. It means that right from first listen “Better as Friends” has practically already burrowed its way into my head. These being my findings, with no more than thirty seconds, play down.
Even with them being favourites of playlists, where they have been hand-picked by Taylor Swift for her official Spotify playlist “Songs Taylor Loves“. I hadn’t come across the duo before. As a first-time listener to Eighty Ninety, I am enjoying the relative simplicity, of the softer synths used on this track. From taking a quick peek at some of the duos previous releases. I understand the style of “Better as Friends” is somewhat a change from the more normal guitar-driven pop they are known for. Nonetheless, I feel the progression into incorporating bolder electronic elements into their signature singer-songwriter sound is a good move for them.
In the press release, the duo is noted as making reference to their style, calling it “808s and telecasters.” What a cool, way of describing their sound, I love the phrasing they went with as a definition. For me, it is a good indication of where their wordcraft is at. (Before intently, paying attention to any of the songwriting, from the brothers.) Their lyrical style comes from a deeply personal place. The kind of emotively touching, songwriting which is easy to relate with. And where words and phrases leap out and stick with you, super quick.
About “Better as Friends” –
“It’s about the desire to live in the past rather than face the end, and how loving someone can mean wanting the best for them even if that no longer includes you,” Abner and Harper write.
My gut feeling is, (and I hope the duo are prepared.) With a bolder electronic edge on-board, Eighty Ninety are about to garner up a whole load of new fans, of which I am now one.
Now that’s what I call electronic pop!
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