Best of Friends :: Palma Violets
from the album, 180
directed by Vivien Weyrauch and Fabian Röttger

Best of Friends is a track off the debut album from Palma Violets, a band from Lambeth, London who formed in 2011. They were formed by bassist/vocalist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, guitarist/vocalist Samuel Thomas Fryer, keyboardist Jeffrey Peter Mayhew and drummer William Martin Doyle.

On January 10, 2013, the band premièred their track, Step Up for the Cools Cats on BBC Radio 1. Having been selected as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World, the Steve Mackey-produced track was released on to iTunes shortly after. Best of Friends was served up as the second single to be taken from 180, the Rory Attwell produced debut single, and winner of NME’s ‘Track of the Year 2012‘.

Much like Arctic Monkeys, the band gained a substantial fan base online before the release of their first single – with multiple live videos of their gigs being uploaded by fans. The band are signed to Rough Trade Records. Palma Violets appeared on the 2013 NME Awards Tour, along with Miles Kane, Django Django and Peace. Since that time they have been heavily promoted by NME and have appeared in numerous magazine additions.

Best Of Friends has been described as “sounding like The Liber-Clash, or Echo & The Bunnymen shooting the shit with Black Lips, or the Modern Lovers fighting Julian Casablancas in some 1978-meets-2001 timewarp.”

Speaking in a podcast on MTV Hive Samuel Fryer of the band said at first they weren’t keen on the song as it was “so predictable“. He commented: “It’s actually our only song with a real structure – verse/chorus/verse/chorus – and we actually initially hated it, because we thought it was so predictable. ‘Oh, god, we’ve written a stadium rock song!’ The first time we played it, we were actually quite embarrassed to play it. And then people started saying, ‘Oh, that’s probably your catchiest song. I think it might be your first single.’

Alexander “Chilli” Jesson said to NME Magazine, in response to hearing the news of the song being selected as ‘Track of the Year 2012‘: “It’s such a rough, raw song. We wrote it one day and recorded it the next, so it was all pretty quick. That song is at its freshest point. Every note we’re hitting, like, no one really knows what they’re playing. It’s tongue-in-cheek. We’re making s–t up as we go along and I think that’s maybe why people like it.”

Jesson went on to tell The Sun about this song: “It’s like ‘Walk On By’ or ‘Just My Imagination’ by The Temptations to me. It’s concerned with growing up and not getting what you want.”

Sam Fryer added to The Sun: “As soon as we start it, I feel it welling up inside. People say it sounds like The Clash, but to me it’s like The Troggs – dirty, mean rock ‘n’ roll. It’s more sixties than anything we’ve done.”

Editor’s Note: On first listen the song, and the band’s full album, reminded me of The Libertines, who were also on Rough Trade Records. I am also reminded of some of the punk music I listened to, and loved, in the early-mid eighties, like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and Misfits. My favorite part of the song? The guitar work…just yes.


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