Slow and sultry vibes flow like honey from Ash Floren’s new single, “Just Friends.”
“Just Friends” is a melting pot of influences, ranging from pop, to lofi indie, to touches of hip-hop. It’s slow like an R&B tune, but has the simple yet nostalgic instrumentation of an emotional bedroom pop track. The melody is warm and catchy, yet leisurely and delicate. It meanders in some moments, highlighting the complex content in the lyrics, which explores the dreadful and murky waters of the friendzone.
This song is the confusing, impassioned dialogue you have with yourself when your affection isn’t reciprocated. It’s everything you’re dying to say to the other person when you know you can’t. Traversing through themes of helplessness, loneliness, and yearning, the lyrics are the driving force of the song -- punching you in the stomach and resurfacing feelings that may still be bubbling deep within.
One of the most interesting parts of “Just Friends” is how it poses an ultimatum. While the lyrics are about the gutting feelings of rejection, it also begs the question of how someone could be around their loved one without expressing how they truly feel; and if they wish to spend time with this person, they have to indulge their feelings and be completely honest.
Ash Floren was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia at age twelve. He didn’t start producing beats until he was seventeen, and started singing a year later. Now, as a University student, he is fully equipped to create his own music every step of the way- writing, producing, and singing. He previously released music under a mysterious alias, who was met with thousands of streams, but decided to start fresh with a new persona.
Written by Jess Ward