Differentiation is key to keeping things fresh, and “All Those Friendly People” is fairly distinct in that regard; it’s quite tough to compare it to any other reputable piece of music. A synth that vaguely parallels a classy harpsichord in combination with the smashing of a proudly noisy high hat allows this 2012 cult jam to stand alone in a weird space between alternative rock and a ballroom waltz. Lead singer Brian James resembles the star of a poetry slam, successfully but barely forcing syllables into the waning moments every verse as if the message matters more than the supporting music.
This is certainly one of the stranger videos you’ll watch all week. Multiple theories exist as to what Funeral Suits is trying to promote in this visual representation of “All Those Friendly People”, but I think it’s meant to intentionally contrast from the lyrical message. The lyrics tell a tale of a man’s unconditional love for a woman that he also rues as a pop culture-obsessed, chain-smoking, stone-hearted has-been that refuses to answer his phone calls (ironic that he’s still calling). In the juxtaposed video, man’s unnatural parading of a woman as an object leaves her to attempt an escape in a necessarily desperate attempt to regain her autonomy. The song and video do share a surface level connection however, has Brain James explains that both “document the age-old battle between the oppressor and the oppressed.” Oh Brian James, you’re such a romantic.