Safely Nobody's is the type of album that yanks skeletons out of the closet with such force that they fall apart on the ground.Exploding In Sound, 2017
7.2 / 10
Tall Friend began as the project for Charlie Pfaff (they/them) but has since become a trio. However, the heart and soul of this band reside in Pfaff’s lyrics. Pfaff is a strong songwriter and pens confessional lyrics, which are sure to provoke all kinds of emotions. Tall Friend’s album, Safely Nobody’s, is the type of album that yanks skeletons out of the closet with such force that they fall apart on the ground. It’s dark, daring, and raw, but through honesty comes strength. Others may find solace in Pfaff’s stories which deal with growing up in an abusive household and having a mentally ill mother.
Pfaff’s mother comes into the fold early on the record. The album’s opening track, “Mother”, features a guitar strumming along to a teary phone recording from their mother wishing them to have a good concert. Immediately it establishes a serious tone for Safely Nobody’s. That tone can sometimes be too much, even for listeners. On “Radio” Pfaff sings about a commercial on the radio which brings back awful memories from their childhood. The jangly chords convey a sickening dread that you feel in the pit of your stomach. “Skate Ramp” wobbles with a shell-shocked melody in a state of sorrow. However, Pfaff contrasts this with birds chirping in the background. A state of normalcy in an otherwise not normal situation.
On “72” Pfaff bluntly states, “I’m harvesting my worry/ As it’s something that just/ Grows and grows and grows.” And as painful as this may be, it does make for interesting music, which others can find a connection with. Growth is also an important part of these songs. On “Oats” Pfaff receives a call from their mother from the hospital on their birthday. Their mother congratulates them on being grown up, but they tell her that they’ve been grown since they were small. It’s a powerful statement that gets a strong ending from a nice guitar flurry. Safely Nobody‘s one flaw may be that it’s too short and possibly too soft. But Tall Friend will likely experience growth as well while Pfaff’s songwriting continues to devastate us to new degrees.