We all know how dangerous social media can be, especially if you’re a solo creative; with the instant feedback and gratification of “likes”, there’s less incentive to craft your art with time and care. That brings us to Austin singer-guitarist-producer Ben Murray, better known by his handle Friend In Law. Friend In Law marries turn-of-the-millennium pop rock with ’90s-style alternative and juxtaposes gloomy moods with lively guitar arrangements, as heard on the three inaugural singles Murray shared last year. But inspired by the crystalline results of fellow bedroom producer Bite Your Own Teeth’s self-made EP, Murray decided to learn the ropes and give Friend In Law’s latest original the time it deserves.
After eight months in the oven, “Stand to Be” is a testament to Murray’s progression into a patient, keen-eared producer. And even though it was mastered by John Greenham (who’s provided final tweaks for folks like Billie Eilish, Cautious Clay, and Lady Gaga), you can really hear a step-up in “Stand to Be”‘s sound over its predecessors. With quirky acoustic vibes reminiscent of Mac DeMarco or Bright Eyes, reverbed-out tom accents, and a maniacal march of a chorus, “Stand to Be” serves as a promising milestone in Murray’s maturation.