While most people on drowned their significant other in flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s Day, the bass virtuoso and neo-funk producer Stephen Bruner (a.k.a. Thundercat) spent his lamenting about falling in love with someone who would rather just be friends.
On his latest cut, “Friend Zone,” Thundercat wallows in comedic despair in an attempt to get over a love interest that didn’t reciprocate his feelings. The funky jam is fueled by arpeggiated synths that seem to bounce around an astral plane of pettiness and despair. As usual, Thundercat also weaves his wonky bass grooves into the vindictive ballad.
As spacey synthesizers teeter through bright musical notes, Thundercat croons about playing video games and ignoring phone calls from his love interest. “I’m your biggest fan, but I guess that's just not good enough/Is it cause I wear my hair in or because I like to play Diablo,” he delicately wails at the start of the track.
After setting the spiteful scene, Thundercat goes on to voice his frustrations about being stuck in the demoralizing “friend zone”, eventually chalking it up as “that bullshit”. He also gives a shoutout to Kendrick Lamar by teasing the line “bitch don’t kill my vibe”. By the end of the Parliament-Funkadelic-inspired groove, Thundercat comes to the conclusion that he should just let go.
“I’m better off by myself/Loving you's bad for my health,” he croons.
“Friend Zone” is the second single from Thundercat’s forthcoming album Drunk, due out February 24 via Brainfeeder. The 23-track record will feature appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington, and of course, frequent collaborator Flying Lotus.
Last month, we shared the record’s first single “Show You the Way”, a smooth ‘70s soul number with vocals from legendary musicians Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. You can catch the funk maestro on the “Drunk” World Tour, which will start in North America and carry on through Europe and Asia.