Friendship Commanders deliver MASS!

The Friendship Commanders have delivered Mass their third LP to date a intense collection of music that refers to memory, language and the state of Massachusettes. The EP correlates with the new Buick Audra memoir MASS: Essays on Memory, Language and the State of Massachussettes. The release comes with the Friendship Commanders on tour in support of the works and spreading their infectious sounds of noise and edgy rock throught the United States.

The Friendship Commanders include Buick Audra on vocals and guitar and a song writer and drummer/bassist Jerry Roe. They previously released the albums Bill and Dave. Buick Audra is a Grammy Award Winning artist and crosses over heavy rock to bluegrass and folk music as a multi talented song writer, writer, artist, and musician.

The Friendship Commanders latest release MASS came out on September 29, 2023 and is a great sound experience of powerful music from Buick Audra. It was enginnered by Kurt Ballou and recorded at GodCity in Salem, Massachussettes. “I hope the world is finding the music of MASS and connecting with it! It seems to resonate with folx, and that makes me happy, said Audra. Since we released it on September 29th, 2023, I’ve had the privilege of finding out that many of us are unified in shared feelings and experiences, though the details may vary.”

MASS was motivated from the loss of a close friend Marc Orleans. “MASS is an autobiographical album about my time living in Massachusetts in my teen and younger adult years. It’s a set of stories I honestly thought I’d never tell, but the death of my friend Marc Orleans prompted me to look back on those days. I started writing the music that would become the album about a year after his passing, and here we are. The thing that felt important about telling these stories now, is that I’m able to see them differently and apply some adult perspective and language to them today. I wasn’t able to do that when I was younger.” It has meant speaking up for my younger self, and naming the people, places, and things that shaped some of who I am today—which is powerful!”

Speaking for the message on Mass, Audra said, “Hmmm. The one that jumps out—and which I consider the thesis statement of the album—is “If you don’t yet have the language for what you want to say, you will.” That’s from BLUE, the opening track. In addition to that, I believe there’s a throughline of hearing and seeing the people in your life and trying to be in relationships where that’s the norm. Losing Marc has made me acutely aware of how imbalanced so many dynamics are, and how comfortable we are with taking more than we give. His death has made me want to either right the scales or let people go.”

Blue is the first single off the LP. “BLUE is a big, loud rejection of statements like, “Family is all that matters,” or “Family and friends are all we have in this life.” It just isn’t true for some of us. Like, at all. That messaging is so lazy and irresponsible, for lots of reasons. And I believe—for all of us—that a relationship with ourselves is paramount. I wanted BLUE to be a message of hope, one that said: change is possible, changing your own mind is allowed, and leaving is fine. If it will save your life, leave. I did, and I’m still here.”

With the release of MASS Buick unleashes her soul on stage with an intense powerful set of emotions. “When I wrote it, it was very raw. Very intense. Now, it’s so empowering to play this music on stage. I’m incredibly proud of it. And playing FAIL, the track I wrote about my late friend Marc Orleans, is almost spiritual. I’m grateful for it. Without the music, there would just be grief.”

Audra released her second memoir to accompany the LP. “The memoir, MASS: Essays on Memory, Language, & the State of Massachusetts, is actually my second. I published my first one alongside my 2022 solo album, Conversations with My Other Voice; the book has the same title. In both cases, the albums were already outlining true personal stories, so I thought that publishing companion works of prose alongside them might be a cool offering. And it’s turned out to be true! The MASS book was more difficult for me to write than the first; it asked more of me in many ways, but I’m so glad to have done it.”

Audra delivers from her heart and stands strong for women everywhere. “I think being a woman who’s visible and loud about my lived experiences is standing up to social norms on a daily basis. But also, I call out bullshit behavior, I keep educating myself on how to be a better version of myself, and I try to stay open and brave. I honestly don’t know if anything I do brings hope to women!”

Be sure to get MASS and imerse yourself in it and feel the power it delivers. The live performance is a must see event and do not miss the Friendship Commanders when they are in your area as the have been touring the United States. It is a great performance that will have you coming back for more and getting all of the Friendship Commanders releases in your collection.

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