Newfamiliar have racked up an impressive record since forming in 2013, they were scheduled to headline for English rockers The Kaiser Chiefs last year until the pandemic hit and the tour was cancelled. The band, formally known as ‘Skinny Living’ up until last year released their second single of the year Here For You on March 26.
Here For You is a comforting and calming ballad that explores deep and meaningful concepts. The band manage to perfectly capture the feeling of helplessness one feels when they see their friend experience grief or go through a hard time. Sometimes, forming words to reassure a friend can be impossible as deep down there really is nothing you can say or do that will ever make them feel better. Newfamiliar have managed to capitulate the ability to deliver solace through their song.
The song begins with an acoustic sound, but comes alive as it progresses, sounding more electric as the song goes on. Ryan Johnson provides delicate vocals when delivering the track. The Yorkshire natives manage to convey the ultimate sense of comfort to a friend who is experiencing trauma. They accept that trying to help is pointless as it is out with their control: “I’m sorry don’t know what to say, I won’t try cause I know it won’t take it away”. They resign themselves to the fact that they can’t make anything better for their friend, but they can promise to be there for them no matter what, with the lyrics in the chorus to capture this: “I won’t pretend that I understand, I won’t try to fix it or give you a plan to sort it out, you just need a friend around you now.” The song is emotive and perfectly demonstrates how one can heal another simply by just being there for them: “It’s okay to run, it’s okay to hide, it’s okay to shout, it’s okay to cry, just know every time I’m here everywhere for you.”
Newfamiliar have mastered what to say and do when someone you love is in pain. This song brings so much comfort and emphasises fundamental principles that make us human: empathy, hurt and healing. Sometimes all we can do is listen and be a shoulder to cry on, Newfamiliar have done an excellent job of conveying this.
Words: Shannon Milmine