Premiere: Hudson Valley Band Upstate Invite Us to “Befriend” the Enemy on Smoldering New Song

Upstate © Bridget Badore • @bridgetbadore • www.bridgetbadore.com
Upstate © Bridget Badore
Smoldering and soulful, Upstate’s beautifully raw and achingly intimate “Befriend” offers sanctuary in song as the Hudson Valley band reckon with inner healing, self-love, and self-acceptance.
Stream: “Befriend” – Upstate





Helpful hint: The enemy was inside us all along!

For as Lit taught us some 23 year ago, we are our own worst enemy.

Retail therapy, TikTok, and television can entertain (read: distract) us for days on end, but they’re no longterm cure for the blues. “You can’t count on a shooting star to fly across the night sky; it may never come for you,” Hudson Valley’s Upstate advise in their new single, “But you can look inside, look deep in at the ugly, and maybe you could befriend the enemy.” In order to fix ourselves, we have to work on ourselves. That means taking off the rose-colored glasses and looking within – diving straight into the skid and confronting ourselves, demons and all, with love rather than malice or spite. It means recognizing the parts of us that we can change, and coming to terms with those that we can’t; and ultimately, it means accepting ourselves for who we are, faults and all.

Smoldering and soulful, the beautifully raw and achingly intimate “Befriend” offers sanctuary in song as Upstate heal their wounds – at first in all the wrong ways, and ultimately in the only way that will actually get results. An outpouring of heartfelt pain and passion, this tender folk song reminds us that we are the solutions to our own problems; we don’t have to go out looking for answers.

Befriend - Upstate
Befriend – Upstate
I just need more money, pay my blues away
Then maybe I’d be okay
I just need more light, light up every night
And I won’t need to sleep
You can’t count on a shooting star
to fly across the night sky

It may never come for you
But you can look inside, look deep in at the ugly
And maybe you could befriend the enemy

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Befriend,” Upstate’s first release of the year and the latest single off their upcoming third album, You Only Get a Few (out later this spring via Royal Potato Family). The follow-up to 2015’s A Remedy and 2019’s Healing sees the Beacon, New York-based four-piece of Mary Webster, Melanie Glenn, Harry D’Agostino, and Dylan McKinstry “patiently navigated the unfolding hurdles of the pandemic and some of life’s most pivotal moments,” as they so put it.

Blending folk, pop, and soul elements into a wonderful smorgasbord of radiant sonic light, Upstate are one of the Hudson Valley’s brightest musical exports, having garnered a local and national following for their heartrending, stirring, and smile-inducing songs. “With a warm soul-tinged folk core, strong pop sensibilities, and a taste for gorgeous harmony, Upstate are all too easy to fall in love with,” Atwood Magazine wrote of the band back in 2018.

Upstate © Bridget Badore • @bridgetbadore • www.bridgetbadore.com
Upstate © Bridget Badore



Following a live EP in mid-2020, Upstate began releasing singles off their new album last year. Between the charming, cheerful “Lovers & Friends,” the heated jazz chords and intoxicating grooves of “Metaxy,” and the soaring melodies and stunning guitar riffs and licks on “Auntie,” Upstate have already set the stage for an engaging, enchanting, and entrancing album.

Written by Melanie Glenn, “Befriend” adds to the excitement, delivering for the band an instantly catchy and equally cathartic song that highlights their folk roots through rich vocal harmonies, warm, lilting guitar work, and a profoundly poetic exploration of inner reflection and reckoning.

I just need some helium, swallow it down
And float away from everyone
I just need more stuff, maybe in time
Enough could be enough

“‘Befriend’ is a song about seeking false refuge from inner wounds in outer goods, all the ways we try and put a Band-Aid on a broken bone,” Upstate’s Melanie Glenn tells Atwood Magazine. “The verses all tinged with doubt and restlessness, are answered with the encouraging chorus: You can look inside, and maybe, befriend the enemy.”

“This song was born quickly,” she adds. “It flew out with only a little effort and struck a deep chord. It’s got themes I’ve touched on in many songs before, but it still felt that it had a place all its own and needed to be shared. We have all felt defeated by inner struggles with ourselves, and we all have our vices to cope and avoid the harder work of reconciling our thoughts and our hearts. This song is there to reassure others that they’re not alone in those battles, and that it’s possible to heal wounds by looking within and giving care and love to ourselves even in the hardest moments.”

Upstate © Bridget Badore • @bridgetbadore • www.bridgetbadore.com
Upstate © Bridget Badore
You can’t count on a shooting star
to fly across the night sky

It may never come for you
But you can look inside, look deep in at the ugly
And maybe you could befriend the enemy
Befriend the enemy

Healing isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight, but our therapy isn’t going to come from indulgence in external sources. The best refuge we can seek is the one we’ve already got, and Upstate’s new single is the perfect, soothing soundtrack to our intense introspection. Stream the beautiful “Befriend” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from Upstate in the lead-up to You Only Get a Few, an album that is sure to push them even further into folk’s mainstream.

— —

:: stream/purchase Upstate here ::
Stream: “Befriend” – Upstate




— — — —

Befriend - Upstate

Connect to Upstate on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Bridget Badore

:: Stream Upstate  ::



More from Mitch Mosk

Exclusive Premiere: On “In the Wild,” The Young Wild Face Loss and the Unknown

Recommended If You Like: Bear’s Den, Genesis, COIN, The Island Club, Smallpools ...
Read More