This Weeks Reviews on Kevchino.com
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Formed on Sept. 12th 2010, Friends, played their first show for lead singer, Samantha Urbani’s birthday party in her backyard just 6 days later, before being subsequently thrust into a CMJ showcase. In the few months that have followed, Friends have played all the hotspots amongst NYC’s ever-expanding D.I.Y circuit, like Silent Barn, Shea Stadium and Death By Audio, and have just hit the road for a mammoth 29 date US tour with label-mate Darwin Deez.
Things have been moving this fast for Urbani since the spring of 2010 when, based in Brooklyn, Urbani recorded a batch of songs “bubbling out of her brain” onto ‘GarageBand.’ Summer saw Samantha temporarily relocate to Berlin to study, frequenting artist communes akin to the ‘Market Hotel’, where she currently resides, and further extending her unorthodox life approach, having been home schooled, by a free spirited, artistic small family unit in the suburbs of Connecticut. Upon returning to NYC, Urbani knew she needed a band to realize her ideas into something bigger.
Hence, Friends was formed naturally by the, well, friends surrounding her at the time. Self-taught, play anything musician Lesley Hann, 22, a striking performer of bass and keys in the band, whom Urbani had known from childhood, and stand-up drummer, Oliver Duncan, 23, were playing in a rock band together, and crashing on Urbani’s couch to avoid their bed bug problem. Close friends Matthew Molnar, 28, and Nikki Joe Shapiro, 33, worked, together with the singer, at the now locally-notorious vegan restaurant in the east village, Angelica Kitchen, where Darwin Deez had also previously eked out a living, and so, the quintet was complete.