Premiere

Friend Roulette – “Joan”

NYC chamber-pop act Friend Roulette are back this June with a new EP called The Matt Sheffer Songbook Vol. 1. It’s a collection of songs by the band’s friend Matt Sheffer of the Austin psych project Zettajoule from years ago when Sheffer was living in Houston. As Friend Roulette’s new bio explains, they recorded Sheffer’s old material as an act of historical preservation because Sheffer himself didn’t see how brilliant it was:

Every so often, he’d ask someone if they’d like to hear what he was working on. Without fail, he’d present an utter masterpiece, that despite its crude recording, was a radio-ready instant-classic. Sadly, Matt was his own greatest adversary and harshest critic. Shortly after bringing these incredible songs to life, he would inevitably doubt whether they were any good at all. He disavowed entire albums of material, removing them from his MySpace page, only to start the process all over again.

Today we get to hear one of those lost masterpieces, an emotionally charged yet soberly executed ballad called “Joan.” The song resembles what might happen if Joanna Newsom decided to reinvent Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games,” and it emanates a skewed beauty that proves music does not require gargantuan hooks to deeply contagious. Check it out below.

EP tracklist:

01 “You’re A Fox”
02 “Snow Pea”
03 “Joan”
04 “Bacon And Raisins”
05 “Viva Zyprexa”

The Matt Sheffer Songbook Vol. 1 is out 6/15 on Pretty Purgatory. Pre-order it here.

Friend Roulette
CREDIT: Stephanie Gould