Brand New Friend
In 2015, the Johnson siblings began making music in their family home on Northern Ireland’s rugged north coast. Within a few years they went from playing their local pub in the sleepy village of Castlerock to securing a record deal and playing festival stages all over the UK and Ireland. After meeting drummer Luke Harris and lead guitarist Aaron Milligan in a Portrush pub (then performing as their own two-piece band), it seemed inevitable the five would unite, completing the line-up almost by accident.
No strangers to Ireland’s buzzing live scene, Brand New Friend have been making waves with some incendiary live shows across the island. Their honest indie-pop has taken them from sticky-floored venues to sold-out festivals including Reading and Leeds, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Electric Picnic. Following the release of their debut album ‘Seatbelts for Aeroplanes’ in 2018, they’ve hit the road in support of Snow Patrol, Lewis Capaldi, Ash, Starcrawler, At The Drive In, RAT BOY and Feeder.
Along the way, Brand New Friend have garnered support from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Gemma Bradley, Tom Robinson, John Kennedy, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart, receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1, Radio X and BBC 6 Music. In 2020, the band released EP ‘A Cure For Living’ and signed with Third Bar artist development, the brainchild of Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody. Their sophomore record is on the way.
“So full of energy, positivity, fun and great tunes. Prozac in human form – you will leave their gigs way happier than you went in. Extraordinary band, extraordinary people.” – Gary Lightbody, Snow Patrol
“Brand New Friend deftly fuse noise and melody on an impressive collection of well-crafted bubblegum power-pop. They’ve prompted Stuart Bailie to call them one of the most uplifting prospects on the Belfast scene and they deserve the accolade as Seatbelts for Aeroplanes is an assured debut that fizzes with youthful exuberance.” – Eamon Sweeney, The Irish Times
“In the last 12 months, this young and energetic band have captured the attention of hundreds of fans, as well as many influential music industry movers and shakers, thanks to their their bright-eyed, enthusiastic sound.” – Hot Press Magazine