Seven years into being a band, pop-rock fivesome Real Friends faced perhaps their most trying year in 2017 when frontman Dan Lambton's bipolar disorder worsened and caused the band to go on an unpublicized hiatus. Just a year later, the group is not only back together, but Lambton and his bandmates have an album on the way -- and they've deemed it their best to date.
Real Friends will release their third LP, Composure, on July 13, with 10 new tracks, including the telling lead single "From The Outside" as well as the next album single, "Smiling On The Surface," which Billboard is premiering today (June 18).
The raw lyrics on the album help divulge some the troubles that Real Friends dealt with last year, which pushed them to really figure out what they wanted to say.
“We have never put this much time and effort into a record," Real Friends bassist Kyle Fasel says. "Composure is everything we’ve always come up short on. We focused more on melodies than ever before. We focused more on the overall emotional climate each song than ever before. I truly think that every song on the record stands on its own. But when all the songs come together it creates our best effort to date.”
Composure was produced by Mike Green (Paramore, All Time Low), who helped take Real Friends' pop-punk edge to another level on the album. The polished pop-rock sound allows Lambton's voice to soar as the group dives into their most emotionally mature content yet, addressing mental health, acceptance and, most importantly, learning to love yourself.
Ahead the album's announcement, Real Friends held three surprise listening parties in Chicago (near the band's hometown Tinley Park, Illinois) that allowed some lucky fans to hear the album in full. Each event sparked an excited response from fans, but also showed that there's more to Real Friends than just songs, as Fasel said: "We want everyone to feel involved and part it."
Composure will drop just a couple weeks after Real Friends kick f their run on the final Warped Tour on June 21. Pre-order the album here, and check out the track list below.
1. Me First 2. Stand Steady 3. From The Outside 4. Smiling On The Surface 5. Hear What You Want 6. Unconditional Love 7. Composure 8. Get By 9. Ripcord 10. Take A Hint