Thundercat: “Friend Zone”

Photo by: Gabriel Cristóver Pérez

This week, the Song of the Day features ACL Fest 2017 artists.

L.A.’s Stephen Bruner, known better by his alias Thundercat, had his first minor hit in Germany at age 15, and from L.A. punk band Suicidal Tendencies to providing studio musician support on Flying Lotus’s last three studio albums (who in turn has produced and/or co-written on all three of Thundercat’s albums, all released on FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label), he’s seen nothing but mounting success ever since. Thundercat has always kept his music free of pretension, but with a proclivity for laid-back, captivating, bass-guitar-driven production; “Friend Zone,” follows suit, or more appropriately, the canon.

Rife with video game nods and an important reminder of the role tacos play in any breed of relationship, this tell-off tune was released the day after Valentine’s Day as a hug of empathy to those defeatedly stuck in the notorious dead zone between casual friendship and romance. Despite some rather blunt lines, Bruner’s delivery doesn’t make him come off as unpalatable or potentially sexist but justified in his bitterness. Thundercat lays these bitter lines over a beat mildly reminiscent of an old-school video game, but with the bassline deftness and je ne sais quoi that is undeniably Thundercat.

“Friend Zone” appears on Drunk, out now via Brainfeeder.

Catch Thundercat at ACL Fest 2017:

*Saturday, Oct 7  // Tito’s Stage // 4:00 p.m.

*Saturday, Oct 7 // Historic Scoot Inn (ACL Fest Late Night Show) // 9:00 p.m.

-Taylor Wallace// host, Thursdays 8P & Saturdays 2P; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli and SoundCheck Music News

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