Self-defined as a ‘small choir of mostly lesbians’ on their Bandcamp, queer DIY quartet Suggested Friends returned this week with the wonderfully jaunty ‘Cygnets,’ the first taste from second record ‘Turtle Taxi’.
In spite of the fairly recent addition of Mammoth Penguins’ vocalist and songwriter Emma Kupa, Faith Taylor keeps a hold of the mike for ‘Cygnets’, her melodically rich, Tracy Chapman-like vocal, acting as a wonderful counterpart to the divergent arrangement, which evokes Joni Mitchell’s ‘The Hissing of Summer Lawns.’ With fun backing vocals and arena rock solos, a real freedom emanates from the four-piece; a theory backed up by the expedition-like lyrics ‘I pass the boats…I pass the same spot / just watching the cygnets grow.’
Foremostly though, as Taylor describes herself, the lyrics are about personal development. “This song documents the uneasy process of learning to trust yourself and therefore also trust other people. It refers to ‘digital birds’ because my bird-sound alarm clock mixed in with the sounds of the actual dawn chorus and became a metaphor for discerning which messages and voices to believe.” As well as personal development, “Cygnets” holds a mirror up to their development as a group, this surefire classic indicative perhaps of a truly great second record.