Best Friend – Unpacking The Camouflaged Commentary on Friendship and Addiction


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Foster the People's Best Friend at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Wave of Emotional Chaos: Addiction’s Ripple Effect
  5. A Story Arc Hidden in the Shadows of Harmony
  6. A Palette of Dreams: The Vivid Nightmare of Watching A Friend Suffer
  7. The Inescapable Bond: Loyalty in the Lips of Despair
  8. Colorful Lament: The Heartbeat of the Track’s Message

Lyrics

(When your best friends are strung out)
You’ll do everything you can
‘Cause you’re never gonna let it get em down
(When you find it all around)
Yeah, it comes in waves, but it’s hardest from the start

Feeling, sleeping, in the field again,
Oh, I can feel, I can feel
I can feel, it’s beginning to end

Yeah, premonition smiling in the dark
Oh, I can see, I can see
I can see the story starting to arc

Oh, oh, oh, oh

It’s comes up
I’ve been a spoken word
I’ve been a river bed
I’ve been a rabid voice
And let it flow up from within

Sometimes it feels like I only dream in black and white

Ah, ah, ah, ah
And colors so

(When your best friends are strung out)
You’ll do everything you can
‘Cause you’re never gonna let it get em down
(When you find it all around)
Yeah, you say it’s what you need
And hide your eyes when you’re close to me
(When you feel up in the clouds)
Well, it comes in waves, but it’s hardest from the start

Waits, and fed us, slipping into dreams
Oh, I can feel, I can feel
I can feel the celestial beings

Oh welted pleasures leaving with the breath
I can see, I can see
I can see the beauty in the mask

Oh, oh, oh, oh

It draws up
I’ve been a river bed
I tried to salt the wound
I’ve carried more than I can
I feel I’ve got a lot to prove
Sometimes I feel like I only dream in black and white

Oh, oh, oh, oh
But colors so

(When your best friends are strung out)
You’ll do everything you can
‘Cause you’re never gonna let it get em down
(When you find it all around)
Yeah, you say it’s what you need
You hide your eyes when you’re close to me
(When you feel up in the clouds)
You ought to know
That I’m here no matter where you want to go
(In your head hanging upside-down)
Well, it comes in waves, but it’s hardest from the start

I’m here, no matter where you are
So let it in with, open arms, no matter where you are
Sometimes, you’ll have to wait,
And it passes by like a satellite or star
No matter where you are

(When your best friends are strung out)
You know when (Ooh-hoo-hoo)
(When you feel up in the clouds)
Oh, yeah, you know when (Ooh-hoo-hoo)

(When your best friends are strung out)
Oh, yeah, you know when
You ought to know
That I’m here no matter where you want to go
(In your head, hanging upside-down)
Yeah, you know when
That’s how you know
When your best friends are strung out

Full Lyrics

Diving into Foster the People’s catalogue often presents listeners with an effervescent blend of indie pop and deeper, more reflective undertones. ‘Best Friend,’ a track that superficially appears as a sonic collage of upbeat eclecticism, upon deeper inspection, serves as a veiled exposition on the complexities of seeing a loved one struggle with addiction.

The lyrical journey of ‘Best Friend’ walks us through the highs and lows—the literal waves—of coping with addiction, not as the person who’s struggling, but as the observant and helpless bystander, the best friend. It is this perspective that Foster the People etches into their rhythmic storytelling, setting the stage for a more nuanced take on a prevalent issue.

The Wave of Emotional Chaos: Addiction’s Ripple Effect

The recurring water imagery in ‘Best Friend’ symbolizes the turbulent emotions that accompany the effort to support a loved one in the throes of addiction. ‘It comes in waves, but it’s hardest from the start,’ hits home with its message that the initial realization and confrontation is often the most difficult phase. This tide represents the never-ending cycle of highs and lows both the addict and their support system face.

As the wave metaphor unfolds, we’re shown the ebb and flow of hope and despair—a sentiment too often familiar for those entangled in the heartbreaking dance of enabling and caring for someone who is ‘strung out.’ This very line suggests a vigilante-like refusal to abandon a friend, despite the soul-crushing struggles that addiction fosters.

A Story Arc Hidden in the Shadows of Harmony

Musically engineered to distract with its danceable grooves and catchy hooks, ‘Best Friend’ employs an oxymoronic meld of upbeat tempos with solemn expressions of concern. ‘Premonition smiling in the dark’ and ‘beauty in the mask’ deliver a juxtaposition of what’s anticipated against what’s preferable to see, touching on the denial and masked pains that often coexist with substance issues.

These lines pierce through the joyous facade of the melody, offering listeners a haunting resonance of foreboding. Foster the People craft an environment where optimism and grim realities coexist, paralleling the dissonance that friends feel when they strive to maintain a sense of normalcy in the face of addiction’s storm.

A Palette of Dreams: The Vivid Nightmare of Watching A Friend Suffer

The seemingly throwaway line, ‘Sometimes I feel like I only dream in black and white,’ captures the essence of feeling drained—of emotion, of color—by the depth of a friend’s struggle. Just as dreams can turn monochromatic when facing internal or external turmoil, the narrative here ties directly to the human incapacity to ‘fix’ the addictive behaviors of a close companion.

It’s a poignant admission of the stark and often monotonous pain of watching someone you care for disappear into the grip of their vice. This line, wrapped in aesthetic simplicity, underscores the larger theme of desire—a desire for the vibrancy of life and health to return to the friend in need, for recovery’s colorful hues to repaint what has turned grey.

The Inescapable Bond: Loyalty in the Lips of Despair

The declaration, ‘I’m here no matter where you are,’ is a heartrending commitment that personifies unconditional love and support. It echoes throughout the track as a pledge from the narrator to the friend battling addiction, promising a presence that endures through the inevitable vicissitudes of recovery.

Such lines encapsulate the essence of true friendship, particularly in the face of adversity. It is this resolute loyalty despite the harrowing journey that casts a luminous beacon amid the narrative’s shadows. The lyrics serve as a reminder that even in the darkest moments, the act of standing by someone’s side can be a transformative force.

Colorful Lament: The Heartbeat of the Track’s Message

Foster the People don’t shy away from grittier, more realistic thematics in their music, despite their often vibrant veneer. ‘Best Friend’ conveys a deeper subtextual lament for the phenomena of addiction and the subsequent impact on interpersonal relationships. It is not simply a song about troubles; it is a resilient, albeit somber, anthem for empathy, understanding, and the irrevocable ties that bind us.

And yet, while the message is embroidered with the pain of addiction, it doesn’t wallow. Instead, the song transforms the narrative into a poignant tapestry, acknowledging the stark reality while also celebrating the potential for human connection and resilience amidst the bleak vistas of personal demons. ‘Best Friend’ becomes not just a song, but a complex emotional tableau, profiling the resilience of human spirit in face of life’s corrosive challenges.

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