Following last year’s debut EP, places i’ve lived, LGBTQ Vancouver/Toronto based bedroom-pop duo Bestfriend have now announced the release of their upcoming new EP, due out in the summer. Ahead of the EP, they have now shared an utterly dreamy new offering. Reflecting on the optimistic feelings of a new crush, ‘Someplace Else’ oozes a lush, ethereal soundscape as sugar-sweet harmonies flow with a shimmering, uplifting energy.
We caught up with Stacy and Kaelan to find out more…
Hi Bestfriend! Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Stacy: A tough one right off the bat! I should format this one like a tinder bio. Stacy, 6’11 (if that matters).
Kaelan: Kaelan, I have no bio but my anthem is set as a song from the ’90s so you know I’m really cool.
Are you able to tell us a bit about how you initially started creating music together?
S: Instagram DMs. I love the internet.
K: One of those “I follow you because I’m good friends with your good friend but we’ve never met” kind of situations for like five years before that. Funny.
I love your dreamy electro-pop sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
S: Thank you! I have a lot of songwriting influences and a lot of production influences, which I suppose is actually the point of this question you’ve asked here- lots of songwriters I love are generally really quiet, sad, indie singer-songwriters: Julia Jacklin, Big Thief, The National, to name a few. Production-wise, Kaelan and I have the exact same inspo artists, so I’ll let him take that one.
K: We both listened to a whole lot of absolutely anything Justin Vernon did growing up. Quite the fella.
You’ve just released your new single ‘Someplace Else’, taken from your upcoming EP, places i’ve left, which is set for release in the summer. Are you able to tell us a bit about the EP? Are there any particular themes running throughout it?
S: Yes! I’m so excited! places i’ve left is the sister EP for places i’ve lived, which we considered to be, like, a series of love letters to our past lives – college life, relationships, friendships, all of the places we used to live, et cetera. places i’ve left is going to close this era out for us, and is really going to be a series of songs that are forward-looking: What are we doing now? What are we dealing with now, good or bad? What are we, as people, but also as Bestfriend, going to do from here?
How have you found recording and promoting an EP during these strange times?
S: Love this question, because the answer is that it really hasn’t changed for us at all! We’ve been making music remotely since 2018, figuring out promotion and releases remotely.
How do you feel the industry is for new artists at the moment? And do you feel much has changed over the last few years in its treatment of female and LGBTQ+ artists?
S: Oof, I definitely have a lot of feelings about this. New artists in general I think are turning what I think is one of the weirdest corners to have come around in a long time in the industry. We now have this chance for literally everyone and anyone to put their music out there and be heard. The only music I listened to in high school was music I learned about through word of mouth, one-off random shows I’d go to, the radio… Now, it’s just a matter of, like, going to Spotify/Apple Music/whatever DSP and literally typing in “new music”. So, on one hand – awesome, getting your music heard is less of a problem, but on the other, you’re really hard-pressed to find a way to stand out in a super saturated digital world of networking, business, “working the industry”, all that. And I think, personally speaking, it’s become a small percentage less about just the music, and a lot more about the Music Business. As for the treatment of female/LGBTQ+ artists, lots of feelings on this as well. It’s amazing that we’re now at a point where LGBTQ+ folks are openly singing about their experiences without the veiled pronouns layered within metaphors. It’s really freeing. It feels amazing. But I think it’d be remiss to not say that there’s still a long way to go. I’m finding that intersectionality in LGBTQ+ music is still insanely difficult to come by, and LGBTQ+ artists are still sort of being tokenized as LGBTQ+ artists, and not just… Musicians. Not to sound like a pessimist! Silver linings everywhere. Just lots of work to be done still.
You’re based in Vancouver and Toronto, how is the music scene there? Do you feel that the live music community there has recovered since the pandemic?
S: Vancouver, not really yet. Though I’ve definitely been seeing more and more shows happening, so I’m really excited for it to come back.
K: I could write essays about the Toronto indie rock scene of the late ’00s & early ’10s. Definitely don’t think the city has found its groove again post-pandemic but we’ll get there. Seasons for everything.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists or bands you’re loving right now that you’d recommend we check out?
S: Hoodie Browns & The Neighbourhood Strangers – insanely cool group who have been playing lots of local shows here and I think have been working on some releases. Keep an eye out for them. I cannot stress enough how cool they are.
K: I’ll actually just take the opportunity to hop on the back of what Stacy said and shout out a truly great live show I cannot wait to see again. Busty and the Bass – they’re a group of like 8-10 dudes that met while at school for music and just said “hey, let’s write the coolest like, electro soul adjacent music ever and put on shows with all the coolest instruments (which we of course all mastered at music school) and make everyone dance all night.”
In addition to the EP release, what does the rest of the year have in store for Bestfriend?
S: Live shows! Writing! A lot of fun stuff!
Massive thanks to Stacy and Kaelan for answering our questions!
places i’ve left, the upcoming new EP from Bestfriend, is set for release this summer.