Review: Real Friends Re-Emerge On “Composure”

After a number of breaks Real Friends are back and ready to drop Composure. Despite a year of mental health struggles and unplanned hiatus’ – Real Friends have come back to Warped Tour stronger than ever, ready to drop one of their most emotionally rounded and mature albums to date. Composure has the growth lyrically and emotionally that Real Friends has been searching for. Composure show the ups and downs of reaching out for help when you need it most.

From The Outside sounds typical of a Real Friends single there’s something more relaxed about this single. The opening guitar riff is beautifully melodic, and very much a powerful attention grabber. From The Outside really shows off Dan’s vocals and how strong they’ve gotten over the past years. Real Friends are known for the “finger pointing, yell/singing” pop punk but this track shows off how melodic the group vocals can be. This track by itself really paints a great visual of uncertainty and not knowing what to do. From the outside and what everyone can see you’re fine but inside you can barely navigate the inner workings of your mind.

Smiling on the Surface is the third single off of the album, it starts out strong with Dan’s isolated vocals. Another track that has this light hearted and airy melody that seems to be a theme throughout the entirety of Composure. This theme is a good one, it makes this album very much a crowd-oriented album.

Unconditional Love is very much one of the most somber songs on the album. This song makes you feel like you’re at prom just waiting for your crush you’ve pined over all year to ask you to slow dance, and when the heavier chorus kicks in it cuts to that person dancing with someone else. You can feel the longing through this song. The way Real Friends unknowingly create these insane visuals is a real talent. This song induces the most emotions on the album. Unconditional Love has a heavy Mayday Parade vibe.

Get By was the first single off of Composure last year which really set the tone of the album. It opens with a groovy guitar riff and heavy drums which kick off the energy for the song. It doesn’t have the same light and airy melodies that most of the songs have, it sounds closer to older releases. These lyrics aren’t overly complicated, the meaning and emotions are laid out in black and white.

Composure is the title track and rightfully so. It reinforces the same light and airy melodies found in Smiling on The Surface and From The Outside and other tracks throughout the album. Composure stays true to its real-world definition and what Real Friends use the word as in this song. This song encompasses the thoughts and feeling since of someone’s head who is struggling versus when they get help and can regain this sense of calm. It makes sense with the year that Real Friends has had as a band and also with the year that Dan had as an individual.

Real Friends are going to continue to grow. Composure is one of their best releases yet, its musically diverse enough to keep their loyal fanbase but also open it up to new fans. Headlining the last Warped Tour is just the beginning for this band this year. You won’t be able to just walk past their set once you hear the opening chords of From The Outside. Composure will be available via Fearless Records July 13th.

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