California by Freunde

California by Freunde


“California” is the newest track from FREUNDE., a musical project created by producers and guitarists Heiko Freund and Daniel Schwarz. Freund, hails from Zurich, Switzerland, and Schwarz calls Los Angeles, California “home.” The two collaborate with various Swiss musicians and artists, who all share their love for the American songwriting culture.

The word ‘freunde’ is also German for ‘friends.’

The resulting song is a poppy-fresh track. If ever there were a sun-kissed song for summer, then “California” would be high on the list. The tune has rich guitar tones, and fun, tight harmonies. It captures the vibe, the culture and certainly Americana, pop, roots and electronic influences from a Western state-of-mind.

While listening to “California,” there are hints of The Wallflowers, and I felt the vulnerability of the Laurel Canyon sound, mixed with a sprite, poppy lyrical foundation. The song has a wide-open space vibe going for it.

Undoubtedly, there will be comparisons to Phantom Planet’s theme song to The O.C., and what FREUNDE. brings to the table is much more tasty. They have richer guitar tones, and while it’s a very pop-flavored tune, I think FREUNDE channels a bit more Americana. There’s a slight twang. I loved the way the guitar tones overlay the light-breezy music bed. At that point, you could even say that it’s in the realm of something from Father John Misty or Dawes.

The vocals are easy to like – and while they don’t show much range, you still find yourself humming along. And while Adam Durtiz from The Counting Crows just begs us to sing along in chorus, FREUNDE. in “California” invites us to the party and embraces our voices just the same.  Is “California” a throwback to the 90s sound? The answer is “maybe” in some circles. But, FREUNDE does a great job of making their merry mix their own.

The collective joy from this track is immeasurable. It takes you to other spaces in your mind that feel like a day at the beach, a backyard family bbq or even a rooftop coffee break. You feel young and free. It’s as if there’s a tapestry of light, music, colors, and grainy sand filling your head. You surrender to the music bed, just as you cast away adrift to its airy allure.

Okay, maybe I just described a financial planning TV commercial, but certainly, you get the point that this song sets the tone and gets you relaxed and happy.

Overall, give two big thumbs up to FREUNDE. and their track “California.” It’s a great fit for your summer playlist, and to your outdoor soundtrack. It’s just so cool and so chill. Fans of Dawes, Neon Trees, Michael Penn, Echosmith, Jack Johnson and even The Counting Crows will dig this track.

Michael Rand

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