“Real friends, how many of us?” It’s a question that rings true outside of the Yeezy spectrum from which it was conceived. Our connected world has conflated our collective definition of friends with the definition of peers. (Bleak, I know.) But within our ever-expanding social networks are the individuals who stick up for, elevate, support, and unconditionally love us for who we are. The number may be small, but quality always, always trumps quantity.
Tigers Jaw takes on the topic of a sisterhood born from best friendships in “June,” the newest song to be lifted from their forthcoming spin LP. Brianna Collins and Ben Walsh, the two remaining members of the band (they shed three members a few years ago), show off new, honed-in songwriting skills here. With comforting, nostalgic pop punk elements driving the song forward, Collins sings of her real-life BFF Nikki, someone Collins considers “to be more like my sister than a best friend.” It’s the first song Collins has actually written, pulling from her very personal experience of seeing and helping June deal with an emotionally tumultuous relationship.
“There was a time in our friendship where she was in a relationship that was emotionally abusive,” Collins says, “which was really hard to see her go through. While she was always a strong and independent person, she leaned on myself and our group of friends to help her get through it all. In the moments where she couldn’t see past everything that was happening, I would try to remind her that it wasn’t always going to feel so bad. I wanted to write a song that showed how friendship can make a difference in feeling strong enough to leave relationships that are damaging.”
“June” was actually the first song that I’ve ever written, and I’ve found that I really enjoy collaborating—taking the bones of what I’m working on and seeing what someone could add to it. For “June,” I knew that I wanted [my friend] Nikki to collaborate with me on lyrics. I wanted her voice and experience of the situation to be present and accurately represented, and she’s also an amazing writer and the person I always go to bounce ideas off. She’s my best friend, the one that knows exactly what I want to say without me even having to say it, so it was a meaningful experience to work on this song together.
Music heals; so do friends. Take a listen below.
spin drops May 19 via Black Cement Records.
If you, or anyone you know, is in an abusive relationship, contact The National Domestic Abuse hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to speak to professional and trained advocates.