Between Friends are ready to take over the world

100%: Sibling duo Brandon and Savannah Hudson answer salient questions about Woodstock, Travis Scott and er, pretend cooking.

Brandon and Savannah Hudson, AKA Between Friends, are sitting in front of a wall of synths in their new Los Angeles home, each one hung up like a piece of art. It’s a fitting scene, given the pair’s debut album, I Love My Girl, She’s My Boy, is a synth-laden, silky smooth therapy session”, as they put it, touching on everything from heartbreak and romance to mended relationships and coming of age.

It felt like the perfect time to move into our new place and put these up, given we recorded the album in our last house,” says Brandon, 26, over Zoom. It was like leaving it all behind and starting a new chapter.”

It’s been a long road up until this point, too. The siblings, who were born in Miami but raised in LA, have been in the music biz for some time. They were America’s Got Talent quarter-finalists in 2013 and have been quietly grafting until the formation of Between Friends four years later. In 2018, they enjoyed a taste of viral success with their melancholy track Affection, which earned them thousands of fans and millions of streams.

We started Between Friends as this umbrella for all of our creative endeavours, where we could finally be ourselves with no expectations,” Brandon continues, swivelling on a desk chair. Affection was one of those songs. We made it at home for fun and we put it out with no plan.”

Ultimately, we like to create music from a childlike mentality because it’s fun and we love it,” Savannah, 24, adds. I really cherish that.”

Since then, alongside releasing a string of singles and EPs, the pair have been taking to the stage across the US, playing sold-out shows to a legion of loyal fans. A solid foundation, then, for the release of I Love My Girl, She’s My Boy.

I think making this album was something we put off doing for the longest time because we were afraid,” Brandon says. We thought the world was scary and that making something on that scale would be too much pressure.”

Savannah and Brandon approached the making-of the project like a day job: they’d go to the studio in the morning, determined not to leave until they’d created something they were proud of. People often say, You have to wait until the art hits you,’ but that’s such a lie,” he continues. If you sit there and focus, that’s when it happens. It was a really healthy way for us to challenge ourselves.”

I rewrote some songs like, five times”, Savannah says. It was our biggest challenge as musicians, as people, as siblings and as friends. It was like when you’re in the playground and you scrape your knee, but it doesn’t even hurt because you’re so excited to be there.”

10% What emotions and experiences influence your work?

Brandon: I think in the past, we’ve written very much from a storytelling perspective. I would make music, Savannah would come in and we would talk about it and sort of write situations or create a story that we felt matched the music.

Savannah: I would also say, especially in the early days of Between Friends, with the CUTiE EP and with the mixtape, we were still living at home with our parents. As a writer, when I look back at that stuff, I was trying to find an escape from reality. I created fantasy situations because I didn’t really have much to write about.

20% Can you describe how that’s changed with the new album?

B: We finally had so much to talk about.

S: Life was happening. It was heartbreak and figuring out situations and being in a home for the first time.

B: It was time to open up ourselves to the music. Also, we never had the sound to accompany those emotions because we hadn’t got to that place. I think the first time we did that was with affection – a song where we’re talking about something we’re both going through. This time, nothing is fictional. We put everything into I Love My Girl, She’s My Boy.

S: This album is one big therapy session.

30% If you were cooking to impress someone, what would you make?

B: I can make two really good pastas: carbonara that is actually nice and a really good penne alla vodka with some chicken in it. I can also throw down a real good steak if that’s the vibe.

S: He is very good at cooking steak. I don’t think my cooking would impress anyone. I would probably just order takeout and then put it in the pan and be like: I made this”.

40% That’s pretty impressive in itself, no?

S: That’s so me. I would probably get from the best pasta place in LA and maybe add a few things. I’d have a fresh blowout and have a perfect outfit on and be like, I just do this all the time!

50% What’s a bad habit you wish you could kick?

B: Nicotine.

S: I have a hard time taking compliments. I’ll wear a dress or purse that I genuinely love, but when someone says they’re cute I’ll be like, no”. It’s kind of weird.

60% What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?

B: I read something David Bowie said once about how an artist should approach trying something new. Like, if you feel like you’re in water and that your feet don’t touch the ground, it means you’re on the right track.

S: That’s how we felt [throughout the making of] the whole album.

70% Were there any visual references you felt inspired by?

B: I remember getting a pair of pants that felt like the album. It’s kind of funny – I got these jeans that fit like the nineties and I remember being like: This is the record”.

80% You rule the world for a day. What goes down?

B: I think first we would need to acquire some money…

S: But we already rule the world. I’d bring back Woodstock. I would maybe put a pair of headphones on every citizen and ask them to listen to our album.

90% Love, like, hate?

B: I love beautiful nature surroundings, I like the way that making noise makes me feel, I hate dishonest, disrespectful people.

S: I love alone time. I like writing music – a lot. One thing I hate is when someone tries to change a person. That’s ugly and pretty fucked up. Someone was trying to change me half the time we were writing this record. No one should feel that they need to change for anybody.

100% What can artists do to save the world?

B: Being the most authentic version of yourself. There is so much happening in the world at all times and I think with art, the more honest it is, the more unique it is to the cluttered landscape of everyone putting things out.

S: To add to that, a lot of artists in my opinion are trying to be somebody or portray this image or compete. That shrouded vision of what you think everyone likes or what everyone wants you to say is confusing.

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