A roller-coaster of raw emotion and charged indie rock, Boyish’s ‘My Friend Mica’ EP is pure summer bummer bliss: A beautifully intimate, vulnerable, and exhilarating nosedive into the depths of our fragile hearts and tender souls.
Stream: “Smithereens” – Boyish
Our dream is to make people feel alive and extremely aware of every emotion passing through them.
Brooklyn band Boyish have coined a new kind of summertime sadness…
… sort of. India Shore and Claire Altendahl call their latest EP “party music for people who are sad during summer,” but it’s important to note that whatever sadness you have going into their new record might very well dissipate by the time you’ve finished listening – so let’s not call it sad; call it summer bummer bliss. If music is a vessel of healing, then then these six songs are a therapy session of their very own. A cathartic roller-coaster of raw emotion and charged indie rock, My Friend Mica EP is beautifully intimate and intoxicatingly intense: A radiantly vulnerable and exhilarating nosedive into the depths of our fragile hearts and tender souls.
In an often isolation and depression world, this music is a source of comfort, empathy, and release.
You listen to the smiths
And we never go out
Then you tell me how you feel
And we kiss, then we () then you shut me out
When you leave my house
There’s a light that never goes out
I’ll never turn it off
You can find it the next time you let me down
But you look so fine
Yeah, you look so cool
And you waste my time
Even when you’re not around
I still talk about you
And you know I tried, but you look so cool
I’m too bored to let go
So I sit in my room and I cry over you
– “Smithereens,” Boyish
Released May 27, 2022, My Friend Mica is as soothing as it is energizing: Boyish have once again done what they do best, unveiling a captivating collection of catchy, mindful, and moving songs that tap into our shared human experience. The EP arrives exactly one year after the duo’s last EP, the spellbinding, coming-of-age record We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution, which solidified Boyish as one of Brooklyn’s hottest indie acts. The duo of India Shore and Claire Altendahl, Boyish was formed “after feeling the need to start over, graduating college, and having no idea what is going on.”
Their music is hypnotically contemplative – full of space, lush guitars, and vivid lyricism. Shore’s gorgeous, aching vocals help make every song an enchanting listening experience, but it’s Shore and Altendahl’s stunning chemistry that ultimately makes Boyish’s music so special: They dress their songs in just enough timbres and tonalities to evoke what they want us to feel, and nothing more. Unassuming yet limitless in its expression, their 2020 sophomore LP Garden Spider remains a true work of art, and the same can be said of My Friend Mica.
“A little over a year ago, in the beginning of 2021 we finally moved out of our parents’ house and into an apartment in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NY) with six of our closest friends,” Shore and Altendahl tell Atwood Magazine. “My Friend Mica covers this past year of growing up and how this group of friends has shaped us. It goes from the excitement of a new place and the nostalgia of home, to looking at past relationships, to realizing that this time in our lives is brief and change is coming. Our living situation with 8 people total in one apartment building has been something out of a sitcom. Our friends have become our family and have taught us so much about who we are as people, and as time moves on, everyone is starting to follow their own path. We wanted to capture this short year forever into this EP since it feels like it’s slipping through our grasp.”
In some ways, the process of making My Friend Mica felt like starting over; Shore and Altendahl had begun a new chapter in their own lives, and all those emotions directly translated over to their experience as a band and the art they created.
“After our last EP we weren’t entirely sure what we wanted to make, and definitely had this feeling of ‘oh my god, we’re never going to write another song again,’ the pair explain. “It took us a long time to figure out how we wanted our music to sound. The first song off the EP that we wrote was ‘Smithereens,’ and that inspired the sonic world we wanted to make. We ended up writing songs about the things happening in our lives real time. The total vision for the EP really came together by the very end with the last couple songs we wrote for it, which were “My Friend Mica”, “You Wanna Hurt Me”, and “Legs”. Throughout the process of making it, we really wanted to push ourselves in terms of production style, and step out of our comfort zone. When we finished making it, the EP concept sort of revealed itself, and it just made sense that it was an EP about this year of our lives, and the people in it.”
Here we go again, another fight at the movies
Why don’t we break up if I just hold you back?
And I don’t mean to make you feel bad
But I’m looking for someone like you
I wish I was someone like you
What’s wrong with that?
I know it’s not your fault
You didn’t mean to say that
You can’t take it back
I bet your boyfriend was pretty in high school
What the hell happened with that?
I’d stay awake to never see you
I wonder if I never see you, would it hurt so bad?
You were the greatest, I could say that
Whatever, I’ll play dead ’till you get back
You were the greatest, my mom said that
Why do you hate me so much?
Forget it, I’ll fake it ’till I give up
I could be anything, what do you want?
Last year, Atwood Magazine hailed We’re all gonna die… as a dark and stormy, soul-baring 12-minute confessional journey. “Boyish’s radiant songs ache with reflections on place, purpose, connection, time, and being – from explorations of desire and identity to reckonings through friendship and loss…” Compared to that record, My Friend Mica is an expansion in all directions: Its songs showcase their musical and lyrics growth as Boyish incorporate more instruments and more of their own lives into their art.
“I think this EP is more personal, more like a diary entry than anything else we’ve written before,” India Shore explains. “Our last EP was written during the pandemic and not a ton was happening in our lives, so we we used a lot of outside inspiration like movies, and TV shows, and books. After our last EP, our goal has been to make sure every part of a song is meaningful and emotive.”
“We pushed ourselves really hard to produce this EP differently than anything we’ve done in the past. We produce and record everything ourselves in Claire’s bedroom studio. We wanted our production to have a lot of texture and emotion, the earlier songs like ‘Smithereens’ and ‘Congratulations’ plays a lot with a dreamy pop sound, but as we got towards the last songs we recorded we pushed ourselves to not use as much reverb, and try for a dry, distorted sound. The last two songs we recorded were You Wanna Hurt Me and Legs, both which we recorded very quickly, but we haven’t made music that sounds like that sonically yet. We tried to veer away from using the same tools we lean on in other songs, and instead wanted to explore what would happen if we limited ourselves.”
‘My Friend Mica’ is like the mean older sister: It’s more upfront, it’s harsher and louder but at times is very soft and intimate. But underneath it all, I think we just tried to write about exactly how we felt.
It won’t stay but I’ll talk to you till it’s gone again
I’m so shy, one day I’ll shut up totally
Make up my mind, tell me what to wear and when to eat
Cuz when you’re gone, I lie about most everything
You look so alive now these days
It’s warm outside, enough to stay
Laid in the grass across your legs
Don’t look too close, now it’s gone away
Next year you’ll think about this place
Your friends upstairs and in my face
– “Legs,” Boyish
The EP’s title is named after one of Shore and Altendahl’s close friends. “Mica is a real person!” they beam. “They were one of the first people that made Claire feel truly seen as a non-binary person and gave them the courage to use they/them pronouns and not care how people reacted to it. Mica is a role model and they have inspired us in such a huge way that we wanted to name this EP after them. They’ve come into our lives and changed us.”
My Friend Mica kicks off with the driving “You Wanna Hurt Me,” a glistening, churning opener that sees the band navigating cycles of toxic relationships and negative patterns in their lives. “There’s an aspect to the intensity of that struggle that’s addicting and intoxicating in the worst way,” Shore says. “It’s also about recognizing that and trying to break that cycle.”
I dont wanna go if you wanna stay home with me
Tell me why it hurts, tell me why I like it
So afraid to die ’cause I’ll never find you again
Hold me in this bed, never leave again, please
I know you wanna hurt me
I’m gonna change you
If it’s the last thing I do
And I know you wanna hurt me
I’m gonna let you
Only if you save me, save me
– “You Wanna Hurt Me,” Boyish
Boyish layer sweet, effected electric guitars and keys into a dreamy multi-textured fabric in “Congratulations,” described by the band as a classic queer tragedy. “This song is about the moment when you become more than friends, and how you know your relationship will never be the same again once you cross that line,” Shore explains.
The catchy and cinematic “Smithereens” is an utterly exhilarating alternative immersion: The band soar with charismatic energy on this EP standout, shining bright as they chart the never-ending end of a relationship: “Despite knowing it’s time to let each other go, you keep coming back. In the end, it always ends up hurting more than if you broke up with someone and never saw them again.”
The EP’s back half is as charming as its front, closing the record with stirring emotion and visceral self-assurance: The dramatic “I Think I Hate It Here,” the shuffling, distressed “Legs,” and the achingly intimate confessional “My Friend Mica” leave listeners with a calm sense of release and resolve. “India’s favorite line is ‘I’m so shy, one day I’ll shut up totally,‘ (from “Legs”) and Claire’s favorite is ‘part of growing up is knowing there’s a kid, talking to me from the back of my skull, and it’s still scared of everything, right now it’s seeing stars when the doctor sticks a needle in my arm’ from the title track,” Boyish note.
My friend Mica could kill you
I’ve never trusted anyone more
My friend Mica could love you
More than I think I ever could
You’re scary when you’re driving
Almost killed me in your car
On our way upstate, to look at strangers in the mall
Knowing nothing’s on the other side
Everyone went home
Scared the people that we love
Will get old and uncool
We’ll all get old and uncool
My friend Mica makes me brave
I used to be so afraid of crowds
My friеnd Mica loves beige
I’d paint thе whole world to stop the sound
– “My Friend Mica,” Boyish
It’s by no means an exorcism, but My Friend Mica is an emotionally freeing, undeniably cathartic journey from start to finish.
“Our dream is to make people feel alive and extremely aware of every emotion passing through them,” Boyish share. “Making this EP has been super emotional. We put everything we had into it. It’s almost hard to let it go because it feels so vulnerable to release it into the world, but we couldn’t be more excited to share it with people.”
“My Friend Mica is dedicated to our six roommates and best friends in New York City,” Altendahl adds. “This group has become our family. Specifically our friend Mica has been a personal idol of mine: Mica has helped me fully discover my identity and be strong in who I am. Living in NYC has been the first time I feel like I’ve actually been seen as who I am, and the first time my identity has been respected and understood, and I think that has changed my life forever.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Boyish’s My Friend Mica EP with Atwood Magazine as India Shore and Claire Altendahl take us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their latest release!
:: stream/purchase My Friend Mica here ::
Stream: ‘My Friend Mica’ – Boyish
:: Inside My Friend Mica ::
“You Wanna Hurt Me”
“You Wanna Hurt Me” is about getting trapped in the same toxic relationship patterns with new people over and over again. I feel like I’ve always unknowingly found myself in the same relationship my whole life, to the point where I can predict what’s going to go wrong. There’s an aspect to the intensity of that struggle that’s addicting and intoxicating in the worst way. It’s also about recognizing that and trying to break that cycle.
“Congratulations” is about falling in love with one of your best friends, a classic queer tragedy. This song is about the moment when you become more than friends, and how you know your relationship will never be the same again once you cross that line.
“Smithereens” is about the end of a relationship with someone that never really feels like the end. Despite knowing it’s time to let each other go, you keep coming back. In the end, it always ends up hurting more than if you broke up with someone and never saw them again.
“I Think I Hate It Here”
“I Think I Hate It Here” is about a time Claire went on a date at the movie theater and got so anxious they had to go home. Claire has struggled in movie theaters since they were nine years old, and for some reason decided to go on a date to one.
“Legs” is the last song we wrote for the EP. It’s the goodbye letter to this time in our lives, and about accepting that change is a part of life, even if you try to pretend it’s not happening.
“My Friend Mica”
It’s a love letter to our friends and our life here. We’re at such a weird, pivotal point in life, and it’s about watching everyone you love, in their various different stages of growing up.
:: stream/purchase My Friend Mica here ::
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