Premiere: Calan Mai’s Catchy “Friend of a Friend,” a Tender Love Song to an Ex

Calan Mai music
Full of heart and raw hope, Australian singer/songwriter Calan Mai’s catchy “Friend of a Friend” is a tender love song to an ex.
Stream: “Friend of a Friend” – Calan Mai

I’ve given up the most important relationship I ever had for the pursuit of a dream that may never come to pass. And it’s the most liberating thing I’ve ever done because it may all be for nothing.

Some breakups are circumstantial, due to wrong time and wrong place rather than a lack of love. It didn’t work out, because your lives were moving in different directions. You were intimately connected, but the world was tearing you apart. Maybe you’ll come back together again someday; maybe you were meant to only share a brief, but special period of time in each other’s company. Few breakup songs speak to this connection – one where love persists, but the romance is over.

Full of heart and raw hope, Australian singer/songwriter Calan Mai’s catchy “Friend of a Friend” is a tender love song to an ex.

Calan Mai - Friend of a Friend cover art

Calan Mai – Friend of a Friend

Let me be tired again
A dream comes free with sleep
Wake up on your own
Work out what it means
Lie to your friend in a sweet goodbye letter
‘I’m sorry I made you so thin’

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Friend of a Friend,” Calan Mai’s touching first single of 2019. Originally from Australia’s Gold Coast (home to Amy Shark and Fairchild, among others), singer/songwriter Calan Mai makes catchy, feelgood pop songs with an intimate acoustic bend. His previous release “XO” radiates with the kind of energizing charm that transcends Mai’s subject matter: Happy or sad, his songs always seem to instill a bright cheer that leaves listeners with a sense of renewal.

This is especially true for “Friend of a Friend,” a theoretically melancholic letter to a former love that comes off as warm, if not positive. The piano ballad builds into an impassioned exclamation of emotion as Mai bursts out of a doting verse and into a fiery chorus:

Are you talking to boys?
Learning their names?
Do you have a car?
Should I take the train?
You picked him up
I went insane
Heard from a friend of a friend
When you’re home late
Does he wait up?
Do you need to put makeup on?
Are you happy
When he’s happy?
Are you faking when he takes too long?
Is he lighting your life up
like pieces of coal?
And if you leave, could you leave me whole?
I hope so… I hope so
Calan Mai courtesy Aaron Chapman

Calan Mai by Aaron Chapman

“In early 2018, I traveled to the US and recorded with a few different producers in Los Angeles. ‘Friend of a Friend’ was written during one of these sessions,” Calan Mai tells Atwood Magazine. “I entered a studio in Hollywood at 7pm and came out at midnight with a 2-minute demo about a break-up I hadn’t even had yet. But the song felt more real to me than a recount of past events or present anguish. It seemed honest to write about a future I could predict as sure as a sunrise.”

Mai continues, “Now I’m living the lyrics I wrote a year ago. I’ve given up the most important relationship I ever had for the pursuit of a dream that may never come to pass. And it’s the most liberating thing I’ve ever done because it may all be for nothing. That’s what ‘Friend of a Friend’ is about — the space between what you know will happen and what you hope will happen. I’ve learnt to live there.”

I wanna be fired again
Move in with my mum
Daytime TV all day
Be a better son
Learn about the world from a gameshow
‘Fraid so
Imma get smart in pyjamas
Soon I’ll be talking to girls
Learning their names
I’ll have a car
You’ll cut the brakes
I’ll go to hospital
Write on my cast
‘I like you more than a friend’

Wrestling through nostalgia, Calan Mai never once seems to doubt himself or his actions. Whatever course life took to get him to where he is today, that is what was meant to be; there’s no turning back the clocks on this relationship. There is, however, an opportunity to cherish love for love, and to appreciate an intimate and loving connection as it existed in the moment.

“Friend of a Friend” is a testament to the power of love and connection, and its ability to transcend time and space. Through infectiously catchy choruses and a universal tale of romance and longing, Calan Mai twists our heartstrings and reminds us all why we fall in love in the first place: To give of ourselves to a higher cause, as well as to receive that same force in return.

Stream Calan Mai’s “Friend of a Friend” exclusively on Atwood Magazine.

Stream: “Friend of a Friend” – Calan Mai

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Calan Mai - Friend of a Friend cover art

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com