Friendship is often left out of pop music. We hear plenty about love, breakups and backstabbers but the friends that stay true are often left out of the picture. Hayley Kiyoko has just returned with a brand new song Found My Friends and it’s got us thinking about the pop songs that best sum up a friendship.
Over time, there have been plenty of classics from Randy Newman’s You’ve Got A Friend In Me to Dionne Warwick’s That’s What Friends Are For but for this list, we’re zoning-in on the best modern classics.
Hayley Kiyoko - Found My Friends
Hayley Kiyoko is back with her first single of the year Found My Friends. It’s a sleek, ‘80s-tinged tune that reclaims the alternative pop crown that she earned on her debut album Expectations. Kiyoko sings about finding her friends in her darkest moments, using their communal strength to elevate her. “Help me come alive / Sail across the sky,” she sings in the verse before declaring, “I found my friends,” in the chorus.
We’re not sure what’s coming next from Kiyoko but we’ve got our fingers crossed that this is the start of a new era. Last year, she dropped a new EP I’m Too Sensitive For This Shit and also featured on songs with MAX and AJR. Let’s hope there’s even more to come in 2021.
Saweetie & Doja Cat - Best Friend
Saweetie and Doja Cat came through with the turn-up anthem of the year for you and your bestie. It’s a feel-good cut basically about going out and getting a little bit loose. “Beep, beep is that my bestie in a Tessie,” is simultaneously the most ridiculous line and most genius line on the record. We would pay good money for a night out with Doja and Saweetie.
E^ST - Friends
“My friend, you've been looking so tired,” sings E^ST as she ushers in her song about being there for your friends when they most need you. It’s a heartwarming beginning with sad undertones but as the song goes on, it becomes more optimistic as she reassures her mate, “We can build it brick by brick/Taking life an inch by inch.” E^ST sounds like the perfect friend to be completely honest.
The Carters - Friends
If you want to be friends with Bey and Jay you better learn to sign an NDA and zip it. This track off their joint album Love Is Everything is a tribute to their closest friends. “My friends, real friends, better than your friends,” sings Bey while Jay shouts out his best friend Ty Ty and Emory Jones. Full disclosure, we are not friends with the Carters but we’re down if they are.
Wolf Alice - Bros
Wolf Alice’s Bros is the sort of song that recalls long days with your best friends as the rest of the world disappears away. “Forget our mothers and our lovers, forget everyone,” sings lead-singer Ellie Rowsell before declaring, “I’m so lucky that you are my best friend.” “It's an ode to childhood imagination and friendship and all the charm that comes with that,” Rowsell told NME about the song.
Ariana Grande - 7 Rings
There may be a bit more cash involved in Ariana Grande’s friendships than ours but one can dream. Grande’s 7 Rings was literally written about rings. After calling off her engagement and returning her ring, she bought seven rings which she wears with her six best friends. Now, they have the rings and this braggadocious anthem that captures the feeling when you’re on your bullshit with your besties. We may not have Ari’s rings but we know that million dollar feeling when the whole crew is feeling themselves.
Francis And The Lights - Friends
Back to sentimentality and Francis And The Lights’ beautiful ode Friends. He joined forces with Bon Iver and Kanye West for this warm cut that comes with all the fuzzy feelings. It’s the sonic equivalent of a giant hug and that’s elevated by the heartwarming video with those iconic dance moves.
Lady Gaga & Florence Welch - Hey Girl
Gaga and Florence can sing the hell out of anything and they go toe-to-toe on this Joanne highlight Hey Girl. It’s all about lifting each other up rather than tearing each other down and they trade lines, bolstering each other with confidence. “If you lose your way just know that I’ve got you,” Gaga sings.
Lorde - Team
Lorde’s first album Pure Heroine was full of tales of teenage love and friendship. Team perhaps captures the feeling of growing up with your friends best. It’s a stomping, rebellious anthem - an us-against-the-world plot line that expands into this warming, communal chorus. “We know that we’re on each other’s team,” she sings, paying tribute to her hometown and those that she grew up with.
Charli XCX - Girls Night Out
If you’re heading out for a big, ratchet night, Charli’s got you. Girls Night Out is a perky, outrageous anthem that soundtracks the pinnacle of every Charli show. Co-produced by SOPHIE, it’s the sort of song that captures both playfulness and euphoria, demanding the perfect night.
Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments
Friendships are chaotic and messy and Jessie Ware acknowledges the good, the bad and the ugly on Wildest Moments. The thundering ballad from her debut album Devotion is dedicated to her best friend. “Baby in our wildest moment, we could be the greatest,” she sings before also concluding, “We could be the worst of all.”