American pop-punk band, Real Friends released their highly-anticipated and long-awaited fourth studio album, Composure this week on Friday 13th. What could be considered an insight into the personal journey undergone by lead vocalist, Dan Lambton who has openly suffered from anxiety along with bipolar disorder, Composure is a representative and advocate of mental health in it’s entirety. Releasing tracks such as ‘From The Outside’, ‘Smiling On The Surface’ and ‘Get By’ prior to release, since its earliest announcement, Composure is an album moving forward from their previously intense melancholic sounds.
While still raw in emotion, Composure focuses more on the individual experience coming to realisations of worth. It’s a notion of moving forward, understanding the past and learning to live with our own struggles. The contrast between Composure‘s attitude and its predecessors is monumental. Real Friends have completely taken their pop-punk label and mastered it, using melodies to drive tracks fluently and catchy choruses to drive their point home. A major track from the album is their previously released ‘From The Outside’ with it’s infectious lyrical and instrumental tones. It’s a track that really brings home the personal journey aspect of mental health, and particularly into the bands.
Dan Lambton has bravely and openly cancelled live performances, with this years UK Slam Dunk being one of them, due to his struggles with mental health. Composure is an album that really makes its listeners understand his views and struggles, and in turn, breaking the stigma of mental health as a whole. The exhaustion of acting happy is a common issue of mental health that can make it worse, bringing bigger downs, and Composure is a stepping stone in the right direction saying “it’s okay to talk about how you feel.”
A striking and emotional statement, Composure consists of different elements, such as intrusive thought processes, the effects that others can have, but ultimately the promotion and importance of self-care. If there’s one thing that Real Friends have achieved during their quick rise to one of the most popular bands within the scene, is to look after yourself, and Composure is the album that drives that point home.
All in all, Composure is more than just an album, but its an educational look into the effects that mental health can really affect victims. Using their growing platform for the greater good, Real Friends are making more than just headway on their career within the industry, but also on their largely relevant view that leads to conversation.