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Song You Need to Know: Horror My Friend, ‘Devotion’

The first taste of new music from Horror My Friend since 2019, ‘Devotion’ is a powerful showcase of what they do best.

Nick Astanei*

Adelaide trio Horror My Friend have broken their two-year silence, returning with the immense “Devotion” alongside news of their recent signing to [PIAS] Australia.

Having been around for over a decade now, it was back in 2018 that Horror My Friend unveiled their latest full-length record, Home Life. In 2019, the trio shared a pair of split singles, unveiling “Dopamine Waster” and “Turned Loose” on splits with RAT!hammock and Velvet Elevator, respectively. Since then though, it’s been a little quiet on the Horror My Friend front, though a rather notable global pandemic can be used to explain that.

However, things have been bubbling away behind the scenes in that time, with the group returning this month with both news of a new signing, and the release of a new single.

Released via [PIAS] Australia, the new single marks the start of the band’s relationship with the label, and serves as the label’s first signing of the year.

“Signing Horror My Friend has been an amazing full-circle moment after being a fan of them since their first record,” explains A&R and Marketing Manager, Sophie Brown. “It’s been great watching them evolve as artists while building their dedicated fanbase and I can’t wait to see the incredible things that our team and the band can achieve together.”

The first of these incredible things comes by way of the stunning “Devotion”. Born from heavy reverb and serving as the band’s first release since 2019, Horror My Friend (that is, bassist Josh Battersby, guitarist and vocalist Tom Gordon, and drummer Sam Kolesnik) used their past few years to gain influence from their surrounding from a lyrical and sonic point of view.

The result is a track which touches the misogynistic culture that the band have experienced in certain circles within their hometown, and the disregard these same people had for the women they dealt with.

True to their talent as powerful creatives, much of “Devotion” was unplanned, with little but their myriad influences and technological capabilities helping to inform their musical direction. Likewise, the track features a spoken-word monologue from RAT!hammock singer Jackson Phelan, who recorded his piece with no preparation.

“‘Devotion’ came about directly after buying a new guitar pedal, an old Hardwire Digital Reverb (RV-7), which I’d specifically heard about for its Reverse Reverb effect,” explains Gordon. “You can hear the effect on the guitar in the intro and the bridge, where it’s difficult to hear when the chords start and end.

“Honestly, we just went into the rehearsal room and I just asked Josh and Sam, ‘Can we start it with this? I really like this’ and that’s it.”

While “Devotion” marks the first taste of new material from Horror My Friend in a few years, it’s ostensibly set to be an indicator of the good things set to come for the group. Though it remains to be seen what’s next for the trio, you can be sure it’s set to further their status as one of the country’s most arresting and immersive groups.

Horror My Friend’s “Devotion” is out now.