Causeway Chronicle



Today, (9th June) Brand New Friend release their new single ‘Talk It Out’ and announce their new album Grandstand. This indie-pop track is about wanting to express yourself but being unable to articulate how you feel. Touching on the futility of trying, when words cannot accurately capture certain feelings or moments, this is the first offering from the forthcoming album to be released September 15th.

No strangers to Ireland’s buzzing live scene, Brand New Friend have been making waves with some incendiary live shows across the island. Their honest indie-pop has taken them from sticky-floored venues to sold-out festivals including Reading and Leeds, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Electric Picnic. Recorded in 2022, the forthcoming album Grandstand was produced by Danny Ball (Blue Americans, Travi the Native) and is being released September 15th.

Speaking of ‘Talk It Out’, vocalist Lauren says, “It was written during a practice session in our old rehearsal space, which was a cordoned-off section of a warehouse in rural Antrim. We had moved sofas and sound equipment into one corner, and the rest of the building was full of machinery and sawdust. It started life as a completely different song, and the instrumental was reworked. I don’t usually take the lead when writing lyrics and melodies, so I asked Taylor to step outside with an acoustic guitar and I showed him my idea for the top line. I always remember the day that we excavated the song and created something new out of the original idea.”

In 2015, the Johnson siblings began making music in their family home on Northern Ireland’s rugged north coast. Within a few years they went from playing their local pub in the sleepy village of Castlerock to playing festival stages all over the UK and Ireland. After meeting drummer Luke Harris and lead guitarist Aaron Milligan in a Portrush pub (then performing as their own two-piece band), it seemed inevitable the five would unite, completing the line-up almost by accident. 

Following the release of their debut album ‘Seatbelts for Aeroplanes’ in 2018, they’ve hit the road in support of Snow Patrol, Lewis Capaldi, Ash, Starcrawler, At The Drive In, RAT BOY and Feeder.

Along the way, Brand New Friend have garnered support from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Gemma Bradley, Tom Robinson, John Kennedy, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart, receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1, Radio X and BBC 6 Music. 


Maurice Bradley