MY BEST FIEND
While the five members of My Best Fiend live in Brooklyn, the music they create resides somewhere else entirely: in a spacious, dreamlike world all its own, by turns unsettling and uplifting. On their Warp Records debut, In Ghostlike Fading, their songs feel like reveries, mixing gorgeously atmospheric keyboards with grittier guitars and plaintive lead vocals. Almost hushed, folk-like verses build to ringing rock choruses, bolstered by layers of floaty vocal harmonies from various friends and guest stars, all of it treated to a generous turn of the reverb knob. Lead singer Frederick Coldwell’s lyrics teeter between decadence and penitence, compulsion and confession, offering portraits of characters that have sweated through a long dark night of the soul or two and – for most of them – lived to tell the tale.
My Best Fiend originated as a duo, with Coldwell, who hails from Philadelphia, on Rhodespiano and voice and Kris Lindblade, a Kansasnative, on guitar. The band name is a loaded pun they borrowed from a Werner Herzocg documentary about the director’s friend-nemesis Klaus Kinski that suggests the tightrope balance of emotions, the love and lunacy, required in both art and life. Though Coldwell supplies the lyrics, the evocative approach of My Best Fiend is the result of a genuine group effort. The material first took shape in the band’s Bushwick rehearsal space, which they carefully maintain so that the physical aura of the room seeps into the ambience of their songs. But more than the setting, it’s the close and constant interaction of the players that dictates the sound.