Briana Smith(guitar, Keys, vocals) and Jessica Seamans (bass, recorder, vocals), the core members, grew up in the Brianard lake area in a town called Crosby and are reallife best friends. At first “two brainy, nerdy outcasts who eventually developed a fierce mutual devotion, although when they first met in 5th grade they made a lousy impression on each other. But not for long. As they discovered they had the same passion for gothy, alt-rock giants Smashing Pumpkins and a hunger to make their own music, they melded together as friends. By seventh grade, they were inseparable.” (Chris Roberts Minnesota radio 5-3-07)
Still in their teen years. they recorded their first two songs ( I want to plug U in & The BFF theme song) on a split 7” with “Everybell” on the tiny say-and-stay-said label recorded march 2003 and released may 2003 in a serie of 300 clear vinyl records that was the christening release for the label as well.( SSS-0001) The records were split up between the groups and each had150 hand-screen printed sleeves. The BFF sleeves were (and mostly are still) designed by Jessica Seamans.
A year later in their first trio line up with Karl Rotto on drums they recorded a CDep. (SSS-0003) “Cute, cheerful, and unabashedly ramshackle, the group first made a splash on the local scene with the release of their self-titled debut in 2004. That album’s standout track was “My Head in Front of Your Head.” A love note to Abraham Lincoln with an instantly catchy chorus and lyrics as smart as they were silly, it had every element of a classic college-radio hit.” Chris Jensen looks back on the this release in 2007 at the City page’s Minnesota mix.
“It’s not hard to understand why the vocal duo, along with drummer Karl Rotto, calls itself Best Friends Forever. Smith and Seamans’ songs are like eavesdropping on one of their sleepovers. Their songs are goofy, giggly and full of inside jokes.
Surprisingly, this does not alienate the listener. Their music is far from being an idiotic game of “Girl Talk.” When they gush over crushes on Abraham Lincoln and Orlando Bloom it’s done with a witty charm full of self-mockery.” and “The friends sing each song with harmonies that always sound a little off - they’re never singing precisely in unison and they often times shout just as much as they sing. However, this only adds to the low-fi allure of the album. The sloppiness actually sounds good, cute even. Plus, it is consistent throughout the whole album.
Even if you’re not one to go for cute, indie-pop similar to the K Records style, there’s no denying Best Friends Forever’s catchy song writing. Just one listen and their melodies get caught in your brain for hours. The melodies seem to come from years of goofing around and never making the band about anything other than friendship. ” Keri Carlson reviews in The Minnesota Daily 1-9-2004”
The girls selfdiscribe their influences as: “each other, people that are great, Bob Dylan, Prince and Dave Pirner. there’s a lot of Garrison Keillor in Bri.” ( http://www.myspace.com/bestfriendsforeverandfriends)
Karl left the band around 2004, and in a different kind of set up Allison Halter joined the group for a short while playing keybords and singing. They never recorded in this set up but the influence on their vocal development is traceble on their third say-and-stay-said release a split tape with terraclops (SSS-005) Joe Rand on drum, glock and vocals had joined the band at that time, and is still their line up today.
The Say-and-stay-said BFF contributions to sss-001, sss-003 and sss.005 were rereleased on a plan-it-x rerelease in 2008.
On say-and-stay-said there was 1 more release sss.009 “2007 tour support” wich contained the 2 BFF songs from sss.001 and 3 radio recorded live versions of eisenhower is the father, handpocket and abe lincoln which 3 also can be heard on “http://www.myspace.com/bestfriendsforeverandfriends"
In 2007 followed the plan-it-x cd: Romance conflict adventure on which Chris Jensen commented: “On Romance Conflict Adventure, the girls and their new drummer (Joe Rand) have laid down at least three tracks that successfully follow up on the magic of the Abe Lincoln song, the most conspicuous being “Eisenhower Is the Father.” Another infectious tribute to a former president with quirky lyrics and heartfelt sincerity, it’s a love song thanking him for his role in creating the interstate highway system, the background for a true love experience. Who knew it was Ike who put the bop in the bop she-bop she-bop?
While the album may be a little front-heavy, with standout tracks “Handpocket,” “Ghost Song,” and “Eisenhower” all occurring in the first half of the disc, there aren’t any throwaways. Witty, cuddly, and undeniably funny, Romance Conflict Adventure captures BFF’s lyrical potency as much as their rare bond in melodious harmony.”
The larger performance and touring experience might have contributed to the more solid rock sound of the album although undenieable still quirky and girlish as well. The girls themselves describe their music as dancable and happy.
June 2008 they also participated in the second Minnesota radio songs from scratch project ( http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/2008/07/songsfromscratch2/ ) as one of three groups they were asked in 14 days to write a song to a given theme (The wizard of oZ) using 4 lines of lyricks to the theme by Adam Levy. from introduction of theme and lyricks to the final videotaping and recording of the song, the bands were followed in their creational proces and interviewed about that.
The interviews as well as songs and bits of the proces can be listened to online, and gives a rare insight into BFF’s creational proces. Briana seems more the music compositional motor of the duo while Jessica has a more selecting, refining and judgemental role.
Listening to their albums it’s often quit clear from who the lyricks come. The girls play around with that a lot. If one sings: “I see the boy in the mall” the other sings: “She sees the boy in the mall”. But also a sentence as: “If I could do more then just sing and play bass” is a give away. These kind of inside jokes are part of the charm of their lyrics.
In 2008 a next album is planned, or at least announced. 2 of their new songs can already be found on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rQWl8tyfyU (good video & sound quality ) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1sGGMewvOM&feature=user (visually dark & unsharp and not so good accoustic)
Edited by eus47 on 5 Aug 2008, 00:39
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