young friend Tackles Isolation and Nostalgia on His Latest EP, 'Scaredy Cat' [EP Review]

Olive Soki
Zachary Vague

To reflect upon your character requires you to rack up a couple of years embodying your person. While it might not all be rainbows and sunshine, these experiences give you the necessary foreground to understand yourself, accept your nature, and all the things that constitute who you are in this moment. Only then will you be able to navigate the world, if not with confidence, at least with the right tools and mindset to cope with the rest.

Last year, Canadian singer-songwriter young friend (Drew Tarves) released his debut album, How Did We Get Here?. A question directed at the significant turning point he found himself facing around the album's release, How Did We Get Here? was in some way the documentation of the experiences that had defined his life thus far. Now, back with what might be his most vulnerable work to date, young friend presents his findings, eventually coming to terms with himself, on his latest EP scaredy cat.

Spanning only five tracks, with the longest one being the closer (“feral canadian scaredy cat”), young friend manages to tackle a wide array of topics while still doing them justice. From isolation, to self deception and nostalgia, Drew opens and closes these conceptual cans of worms with ease. The opener “met this girl on the internet” explores infatuation via digital remoteness. Using both storytelling and dynamics, he tracks the ups and downs of this online relationship. The verses, softer and mostly acoustic, parallel the mixture of interest and doubt felt during this affair, while the choruses, adorned with harmonies, swell up as he reveals the overwhelming nature of their rapport.

Most of the EP follows this back and forth motion, both in story and dynamics. One minute you're wrapped up in a skittish and upbeat track (“white noise”), and the next he smoothly pulls you deeper into his psyche (“17”). What might just be overlooked as the natural progression of a project actually reveals quite a lot about our narrator. 

Much like the titular scaredy cat, Drew has found a running theme in his character, which he is looking to come to terms with. This confrontation, documented in all five tracks, sees him take on life with one foot out the door. However, with self-awareness comes acceptance and the chance to break free from old patterns, all promising possibilities shown in the cathartic closer and its accompanying video.

A collection of poignant storytelling, young friend’s scaredy cat, sees him open up his emotional floodgates, inviting listeners to find comfort in his reflection.

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