By: Hope Ankney
Rounding out the end of August with a tremendous bang comes “Blue Again,” a single by the Portland, Maine-based trio, Weakened Friends, from their forthcoming debut album Common Blah.
“Blue Again” roars forward for a lead single, a bleeding of raging-red soaking into the gloomy blue the track represents. The record tackles a reoccurring theme that seems to cripple most in their 20’s- the constant push and pull of being at others’ beck and call 24/7. A period of life that seems to drain one’s gas tank to fuel the cars of those you’re eager to please. Society pushes this mindset from a young age, bending over backwards for others, putting them above yourself, catering to what is expected of you, reaching out first, trying to fulfill the savior complex that weighs on you, and being completely selfless to have it not be reciprocated. “Blue Again” expresses direction frustration of this entire process from its lyrics to its accompanying vocals and musicality.
As Sonia Sturino, songwriter and lead vocalist, states, “it’s about how tempting it can be to just follow suit and do what you think others would want from you, in art, life, careers, politics, etc., and all the insecurities, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness that can come with that.” The tug-of-war between the insecurities, anxiety, and self-deprecation boil over throughout the powerhouse single, and it resonates with any listener that has stumbled through the same mindset.
“Blue Again” gives a very prominent nod to that of 90’s rock with its thrashing guitars and booming percussion that swells as the bridge leads into the chorus. Sturino’s unconventional vocals are reminiscent of Courtney Love, Donita Sparks, and Kate Pierson’s. It’s almost as if the three somehow had a lovechild that was concocted to be Sonia Sturino and her restless voice. She builds herself to an aggressive wail overtop the bass and drumming that rumbles into the territory of Holes and L7. With lyrics like “I liked me better when I wasn’t so insecure” that are rasped in an edged-out tone, one doesn’t have to wonder how the group feels about societal expectations and its pressure to conform.
Weakened Friends seem to have built the foundation of this lead single as well as their upcoming record, Common Blah, off the existential crisis that plagues young adulthood. It brings up rhetorical questions that have drenched the pursuit of happiness. “Blue Again” is only a small spoonful of what’s to come regarding this tumultuous journey of self-discovery and catharsis after reaching a breaking point. When happiness and selflessness aren’t being reflected back, it’s time to move on and take care of oneself. This is what’s to be taken away from not only this heavy tune but the overarching theme of their debut LP.
You can pre-order the record here.