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"for real?" - Tribe Friday | Review

We’re truly in the midst of a magical emo revival. Tribe Friday’s new song “for real?” is reminiscent of all our favorite 2000s emo moments with a few sonic updates to keep us on our toes.

Close your eyes and imagine the emo basement shows from back in the day. Recall that feeling when your favorite song starts; that’s the feeling “for real?” encapsulates for its entire run. It’s a high-energy song fit for both a basement and festival stage alike. Whether moshing is your thing, or you’d rather scream the lyrics with the people beside you, this song is tailor made for just about any live setting.

The guitar hook, from its garage-rock-esque tone to its addictive hook, has the same charm as The Strokes’s iconic sound in their debut single “Hard to Explain,” but it’s backed with the staple drums and cymbals of uptempo emo. On top of all that is the song’s undeniably infectious melody, derived from pop punk’s hay day. All of these elements combined create a perfect storm of off-kilter emo indie pop. Whatever playlist you’re trying to fit this into, it will somehow fit into none and all of them, in the best way possible. While there’s no one genre to pin it as, we do know it brings us right back to the good ol’ emo days.

While “for real?” has no shortage of fun riffs and hooks, take a close listen to the lyrics. In true early emo style, they’re a self-deprecating reflection on throwing yourself a pity party. “For a very long time, I didn't like myself very much. So I'd turn towards external validation and trying to feel cool to make up for it. And then in turn I'd resent myself for making shitty decisions. I don't know. It's all just one big self-pity party,” Noah Deutschmann writes. I realize I have a very, very good life. I'm an extremely lucky person. So I feel bad feeling bad about it sometimes. Self-pity can be such an ugly emotion. I guess that's why I like writing about it.”

Tribe Friday is the love child between early 2000s indie rock and the modern Gen Z pop sound. Dealing with themes of identity, self-expression, love, and death, the band has gained critical acclaim for their ability to delve into heavy topics in a way that is witty, honest, yet genuinely enjoyable to listen to. Their full-length debut album, titled “bubblegum emo”, follows their 2020 EP that landed them features in Alternative Press and Earmilk, as well as placements on some of Spotify’s most notable up-and-coming playlists. They’re also finalists in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, which will ultimately decide their country’s entry for Eurovision 2022. Our bets are on Tribe Friday!

Written by Jess Ward

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