Brand New Friend

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About Brand New Friend

Northern Irish indie pop-punk quartet Brand New Friend formed in 2014 in Castlerock, a small seaside village in County Derry, when guitarist/vocalist Taylor Johnson enlisted his sister Lauren (vocals, keyboard) into joining his solo project. Recruiting school friends Aaron Milligan (bass) and Luke Harris (drums), they named the band after the song by Lloyd Cole & the Commotions at their father's urging. With a broad spectrum of influences ranging from Morrissey and Soundgarden to Fugazi and Paramore, they channeled the brash, raw energy of fellow countrymen like the Undertones, their short, sharp songs about everyday life and young love powered by the siblings' effervescent twin vocals and Lauren's naïve keyboard melodies. Accruing a local following by playing live, they recorded a host of bedroom demos, which they released online in 2016. These caught the attention of producer Rocky O'Reilly, who offered to record their debut EP, American Wives, at his Start Together studio in Belfast; the Johnson siblings had never been inside a studio before. The EP created a great deal of buzz around the band, resulting in an Irish tour and a slot at the BBC's Big Weekend festival. In 2017 they signed with Xtra Mile, which issued their debut album the following year. Entitled Seatbelts for Aeroplanes, it was produced once again by O'Reilly and preceded by the singles "Girl," "Mediocre at Best," and "Hate It When You Have to Go." ~ John D. Buchanan

Castlerock, County Derry, Northern Ireland
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