Material: After success in his very own pop- punk band, Andrew Goldstein started creating hits for other artists, from massive pop acts like Britney Spears to hip-hop heavyweight blackbear, further to pop-adjacent band 5 Seconds of Summer. Notably, as with many other writers of his calibre, Goldstein has a knack for hooks and it shows in every song he creates. “Be Happy” offers a tender melody and tone with a subtle electronic pulse that, like many of his songs, quickly becomes an earworm. Fresh off the release of EP Before U I Didn’t Exist, FRND’s catalog keeps listeners engaged not just with inviting melodic structure and catchy beats, but with strong and emotional lyrical content.
Musicianship: FRND is a true professional; every beat of the performance was set in the perfect place and played beautifully. The warm vulnerability of FRND’s vocals were enhanced by a vocal effect pedal and didn’t detract from the performance in the slightest, a mistake lesser performers might make. FRND is a major threat, performing, recording and mixing his EP to a hugely high level of quality, and none of that was lost from production to performance. Presented live, his songs stand out in their place in the set, and FRND performs them excellently.
Performance: Goldstein is no stranger to performance. Every aspect of his set was prepared and planned, except for moments when he spoke to a very enthusiastic audience. He’s funny and uniquely charming, which made for a wonderful addition to a set of killer songs. There was no sense of awkwardness despite the intimate setting, where many other solo acts fall short. FRND’s set flowed from one song to the next in a smooth arc, incorporating planned lights and effects, and keeping guests interested. Performing can be hard for a solo act; FRND makes it look easy.
Summary: Chances are, you are missing out on FRND. FRND’s music is the perfect blend of emotional and infectious, a musical morsel that is just left-of-center enough to not wear you out. He creates an electric energy in any room, a creator of both top-notch songs and performances. Before U I Didn’t Exist is a fine piece of work, and FRND displays it with charm and style. Undoubtedly, FRND is ready to dominate the pop world and it’s going to be amazing when it happens.