The second An Old Friend start playing ‘Flower Glass’ I was transported back to the 80s and 90s, with the music of U2, Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds, even Keane. So it came as a surprise to find that this band are from Long Island, New York, and not from the UK or Ireland.
Singer Cody Kohler, of An Old Friend, shows no fear as he allows himself to be swept away by a river of sentiment – it should therefore come as no surprise that his music likewise has the same effect on his listeners. Like the music of the afore-mentioned bands, there’s nothing superficial about the music of An Old Friend. It’s immediate, rapturous, and an almost otherworldly feeling.
‘Flower Glass’, their latest single, serves as a teaser for an album yet to come, and the track finds the band at its most transcendent. Just like the band’s name, their sound is familiar, it’s an old friend; but it defies classification, falling easily into emo, post-rock, modern prog, and ballads. But why should it be classified? The four members of An Old are going where their emotions take them, and they’re taking their music with them.
‘Flower Glass’ describes the experience of sensory and emotional overload. Kohler’s narrator is at sea, caught in the waves and the tides, overwhelmed by the incredibleness of what he’s experiencing. He addresses one who takes refuge in nostalgia and the methods of the past; Kohler meanwhile is trying to keep his head above water. There’s no sign of dishonesty or self-delusion, which is at once refreshing, but also terrifying.
Video director Tom Flynn, with his luminous, trippy clip for ‘Flower Glass’, Flynn immerses An Old Friend in washes of brilliant, shape-shifting colours: blue, yellow, orange – providing texture, twisting the light. It’s a powerful visual representation of the turmoil in the song itself.