Photo by Anna Clary

LISTEN: Alana Springsteen, “When We Were Friends.”

Columbia Records NY/Sony Music Nashville artist-songwriter Alana Springsteen explores the singular sadness of lost friendship in her poignant new release, “When We Were Friends.” One of her most relatable songs to date, the vulnerable track is the latest from TWENTY SOMETHING: Figuring It Out (available July 14) – the second installment of Springsteen’s forthcoming three-part debut album TWENTY SOMETHING. Listen to “When We Were Friends” and check out the visualizer above.

“‘When We Were Friends’ is a reflection of how the growth and self-exploration I’ve experienced over the past few years has pulled me away from friendships that once meant everything to me. Part of growing is living life at a new frequency, adjusting priorities and mindsets, and sometimes that means outgrowing people who were once incredibly important to you,” shares Springsteen. “There’s so much beauty and sadness in that. Paths don’t always move in parallel lines, and we’re allowed to grieve that kind of loss too. ‘when we were friends’ honors those relationships while also recognizing the necessity of moving on from them.”

Co-written by Springsteen, Sasha Alex Sloan, and Pete Good, “When We Were Friends” once again reveals her rare gift for turning the most nuanced self-reflection into songs with an immediately powerful impact. With its unforgettably tender vocal delivery, the heart-on-sleeve track finds the 22-year-old Virginia Beach, VA, native looking back on a broken friendship, threading her lyrics with colorful detail as she reminisces about their teenage misadventures: “Used to wear each other’s sneakers / Get drunk behind the bleachers / Raise some hell but we always said amen.” But while “when we were friends” contains an incredible depth of longing, confusion, and heartache, Springsteen infuses every moment with her insightful perspective, ultimately leading the listener toward a much-needed sense of acceptance.

Co-produced by Good and Springsteen, “When We Were Friends” showcases her sophisticated musicality, spotlighting her luminous piano melodies and acoustic guitar work. As the slow-burning song unfolds, Springsteen and her collaborators also intensify its raw emotionality by weaving in such elements as soul-stirring cello work, hard-hitting drumbeats, and gorgeously dreamlike textures. For Springsteen, the track was an undeniable fit for TWENTY SOMETHING: Figuring It Out – a six-song collection offering a real-time account of finding her way in the world (pre-save/pre-add here). To that end, the song bravely examines one of the most uncomfortable truths of life in your 20s: the fact that becoming our most authentic selves sometimes means outgrowing our most formative and deeply cherished friendships.

About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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