Better Friends Than Lovers
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Better Friends Than Lovers


Band Pop Rock


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Better Friends Than Lovers @ Paramount

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Better Friends Than Lovers @ reNeu Boutique

fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Better Friends Than Lovers @ The Royal

nelson, British Columbia, Canada

nelson, British Columbia, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



Great Loves is the second release from Vancouver alternative pop-rock
band Better Friends Than Lovers. On this album the band has
accomplished something special. Each of the 10 tracks is solid. The
vocals of Jeremy Pelland and Eli Leary create a balance of harmony and
edgy tension. You can feel their emotional honesty without being
overwhelmed with sappiness. The lyrics are compelling and expressive.
The drumming is tight. The guitar playing adds to the overall sound
with catchy, muffled riffs. Playing keys is Chloe Gammon, whose
creativity comes through in her unique style. The first song, "Cut &
Dry," begins with a melancholic piano melody, which propels the
passion-laden vocals. This track captures the friction between man and
woman. Trust me, you'll be singing along after hearing it a couple of

"Teeter" is a fun song about young love. The lyrics "kissing tag is
how I won you over" bring me back to my Casanova days in grade school,
when it was considered cute to plant a kiss on a girl during recess.

My favorite track is "Cold Sheets." It combines a catchy rhythmic
groove with heartfelt vocals by Gammon, Pelland, and Leary. The lyrics
tell a tale of lovers who break up due to a third person.

Track six is called "Le Sabre," and its sad flavour speaks of escaping
life's dismal reality, and wooing an apathetic lover. When I listen to
this song, I succumb to a wistful reverie of love gone astray. It has
a poignant effect.

Better Friends Than Lovers has created an album that captures your
attention. All five members are good musicians with a flair for
creativity. The vocals are very pleasing to the ear. Do yourself a
favour and get this album.
- The Peak - SFU Vancouver

"Keep it out of the rain, the ink runs..." I remember hearing Better Friends than Lovers' drummer Laura Hatfield telling me as she handed me their self-made EP a year ago. The CD was neatly stored inside a cardboard package featuring printed artwork on the cover, but unfortunately the card stock didn't hold the ink as well as advertised. "We would hope that people don't get their CDs wet in the first place," keyboardist Chloe Gammon recalls with a smile.

Things will be slightly different when their full length comes out this October. The album "Great loves" is to be released by Global Symphonic, a well-regarded independent label that has put out releases from bands such as Sunset Rubdown, The Book of Lists and Frog Eyes. The CD will be manufactured professionally: say goodby to messy ink and fingerprints.

"Sean, from the label there, just approaced us. [Global Symphonic] is run by two guys, one based in Victoria and one based here," guitarist Mandy Hardwick explains when asked about how it all happened. "Sean basically just came down to our rehearsal space to meet with us and talked about doing an album. It turns out that he's a big fan of our EP. We were all excited and we just went from there. He was really flexible, which was awesome. He was like, 'Do what you normally do' and didn't really influence the album at all."

And the packaging isn't the only thing that's changed. This time around, the songs on the album are described as "less poppy" and "harder" by bassist Jeremy Pelland. Some can attribute it to the natural progression of a young emerging band, but there is another reason. "I think that we just want to make people dance," clarifies Hardwick. "Ultimately, I believe that Vancouver is lacking a dancing kind of culture. People are just more into standing around than moving. That's an inspiration for me, at least."

If their recent show at Jojo's House was any indication the strategy seems to be working. The crowd was certainly enjoying themselves. "We've had postivie feedback from the last few live shows," says Gammon.

Having only traveled as far as Alberta once before on a short trip, the friendship of the band will be put to the test this fall when they embark on a month-long tour across Canada to support the release of the album. They will share part of the tour with the People Verses, and part of the tour with the Doers. Hardwick explains what she believes is the most important part of the tour: "For myself, it's just to be comfortable and get along. To get excited and play music." One can hardly argue with that.

Better Friends than Lovers will be at the Media Club September 19 to kick off their cross country tour. - Discorder Magazine - September 2007

Delirious from the anticipation of their cross-Canada tour, I chatted with Mandy, Eli, Jeremy and Chloe (drummer Laura was visiting family on the island) of hot pop group Better Friends than Lovers in Mandy’s backyard over beer and chocolate cigarettes provided by the lovely promoter Melissa Jordan.

ONLY: There is something weird about having chocolate cigarettes. They really bothered me when I was younger.

Eli: They’re really horrible, but I like the packaging.

ONLY: First Tour?

Mandy: No.

ONLY: Have you had a tour this long before?

M: No. The first one we did, we went to Calgary and back in ten days.

ONLY: This one is a little longer.

M: Five to six weeks.

ONLY: Do you know what you got yourself into? (laughter) Is the Van OK? Tires? Oil Change? Tail pipe’s not going to fall off?

Jeremy: Oil change, that’s happening tomorrow. You never know what’s going to happen.

E: We might get tires in Alberta because they’re cheaper. We got to get chains too. It’s -8c in the Praries right now. Everyone’s freaking out about their crops.

ONLY: Who cares about Farmer Dan. As long as the roads are OK. You guys got to get to Lethbridge.

M: I care about Farmer Dan.

ONLY: Are you going to ask for floors to sleep on at the end of the shows?

M: I think we got it pretty worked out. There’s not too many places where we don’t have a place to stay. I’m from the Kootenays. Jeremy’s from Winnipeg. You’re [Eli] from the Okanagen. Laura’s from the Maritimes, and then we have friends that are living in Montreal and Toronto. We’re doing the first leg of the tour with People Verses. They’ve hooked us up with places to stay as well.

ONLY: Have you ever heard of the distance between a place called Winnipeg and a place called Thunder Bay? 18 hours, people!

M: I just spent the last hour and a half ‘MapQuesting’ out all of our destinations and I basically shat my pants. Because we are going past Toronto to Montreal.

ONLY: From where?

M: Thunder Bay.

ONLY: Are you kidding?! You’re going to die!? (laughter) How far are you going?

M: Halifax. We’re playing the Pop Explosion.

ONLY: Congratulations! Are you playing Pop Montreal?

M: We didn’t make it in. We had a hard time booking a show in Montreal because of the Pop festival. We had a show but we got booted because a bigger band was playing: the UK Subs. We finally got a show with the Normal Humans, which is Will Austin’s……

ONLY: No way! That guy is awesome. He can get a gig in a telephone booth. (laughter)

M: We’re playing in a new space that doesn’t even have a name yet.

ONLY: Yeah, it’s called Will Austin’s house. (laughter) Have you guys ever been together for six weeks?

All: No.

ONLY: Do you have enough things in common?

M: I think that we do, and I think that’s what’s allowed to be cohesive in a group for so long.

ONLY: Might I suggest a sport that you invent?

M: Well, we got a few tricks up our sleeve, like Unicorn on the Cob.

ONLY: What’s that?

M: You put popular slogans or phrases together, like unicorn on the cob, and MJ would say “Unicorn on the cob…..”

Melissa: Pipe.

ONLY: Unicorn on the cob pipe uhhhh… bomb?

All: Yes!

ONLY: Congratulations on getting signed to Global Symphonic.

M: Yes! Sean Keane is an awesome guy. He is one of the two guys that runs the label. He has been super generous and easy to work with. He just approached us. There was a bit of a buzz going on (about the band) and he said “we’d like to sign you.” We didn’t sign any papers and it wasn’t formal. It worked out great. He’s enabled us to make a great album, and he’s been a go to guy ever since.

ONLY: Has it always been the five of you?

E: Yes, except we’ve been through a couple of drummers. It started with me and Mandy being best friends, and we started to jam. Then Melissa booked us a show, and over the years it developed into this.

Melissa: Their first show was at the Railway Club, and they were called Heavy Pet Shop. I made fun of you guys on stage. (laughter everywhere) It’s not Pet Shop Boys and it’s not Heavy Petting…

ONLY: Hey, it’s their grave! (laughing and merriment)

BFTL play their CD release party at the Media Club on Wednesday, September 19th with the People Verses and Big Whoop ?

- Only Magazine (vancouver)

The first thing that grabs you about Better Friends Than Lovers is their infectious joy. The five of them are thoroughly enjoying what they're doing, and it shows. They've found a label and recorded their first full-length album, Great Loves, a lo-fi kaleidoscope of danceable, charismatic, captivating indie pop. "We're just really happy about it," says vocalist Eli Leary. "It turned out really well."

With Great Loves, the band takes a step in the right direction; their gritty head-bopping dance pop sound has become more confident. They wanted the result to contain a bit more heaviness while still retaining the many catchy hooks and vocal harmonies that characterized their first EP. Mandy Hardwick's muddy guitar, Chloe Gammon's throbbing organ and curious synthesizers, and Jeremy Pelland and Laura Hatfield's ever-present groovy rhythm section define this band's sound, but no instrument really overpowers any other. Each member has a chance to shine, and they do so in a very genuine way.

For the band, the creative process "is pretty much a group effort," explains Hardwick. "[A song] isn't done until we're all equally happy with it, and we just let the song go wherever, we all do something with it, and let it stop in a new direction."

As for how Great Loves itself began? "It just kinda happened," the group laughs.

Their spontaneity works surprisingly well. "Forget Everything" encapsulates the band's many good qualities seamlessly. Their affinity for catchy hooks, soaring harmonies and a head-nodding beat are in good form here. "If it's all the same I'd like to / remember only what I need to," they sing. "Half The Battle" is another standout, a bit more guitar-heavy than the former, and it's currently making the rounds on the North American college radio circuit. Chloe Gammon sings lead*, unfortunately without their signature harmonies, but it's a memorable track nonetheless.

Better Friends Than Lovers came together in early 2005, when Leary and guitarist Mandy Hardwick, who both had their own side projects, assembled themselves into a five-piece with members from all over the continent. They then released a self-titled, homemade EP, and were recently signed by Global Symphonic Records. "It doesn't feel like we've been signed at all," says Leary. "We still pretty much do our own thing; there's no outside influence from the label."

The bargain-basement production style and rough edges in the songs (there are small mistakes left in) may be a turnoff to those who were expecting something a little more polished, but it adds immensely to their charm as a cohesive whole that enjoys making music together. The band and the album give off an air of honesty and unpretentiousness. You might think you were just listening in on five friends having fun.

Better Friends Than Lovers play the Royal Albert Arms with The People Verses and Anthem Red on Sept. 29, and in-store at Music Trader in Osborne Village the following day.

(*Please note that Chloe Gammon does not sing 'lead' on Half the Battle. ) - Uniter - University of Winnipeg Student Weekly

This Vancouver-based pop-rock band will remind you of the days when you were in high school and your cool, older neighbour played in a really awesome band. Well, maybe.

Formed in 2004, Better Friends Than Lovers released a self-titled EP in 2006 before signing with Global Symphonic Records. With the release of their first full-length album, Great Loves, in October, the band will put their popularity to the test with a nationwide tour beginning September 19 in Vancouver.

Songs off the band’s EP reveal the unique creative talents of its members. The track “Streetside” is raw and discordant, but hopeful and beautiful at the same time. For their new album, Better Friends Than Lovers fuels that same raw sound with more aggressive energy. “Half the Battle” features heavy drums and crunchy guitars interwoven with grinding, at times screeching, vocal harmonies. While their new material is youthful and catchy, their sound is overly complex, perhaps too much for what could be an easy-listening pop-rock band.

This definitely isn’t to say that Better Friends Than Lovers would not be worth catching live. The quintet, made up of four girls and a boy, is full of sweet, fun-loving energy and raw talent. This is definitely a band to keep your eye on and catch one of their shows before they really hit it big. For a complete list of tour dates, visit the band’s MySpace at - Gloss Magazine (

Bands can break up for a number of reasons. Sometimes a person like Frank Black hurls a bass at Kim Deal in the middle of a show. Once in a while, someone like Shane MacGowan will get booted from The Pogues for extreme drunkenness.

Perhaps more often, it's inter-band romantic relationships that cause a group's demise. Many blame The Beatles' break-up on Yoko Ono's omnipresence. Isobel Campbell's relationship and eventual split with Stuart Murdoch nearly spelled the end for Belle And Sebastian.

Vancouver pop-rockers Better Friends Than Lovers have a simple rule that they hope will translate into longevity for their group:

"We have a promise that we can't sleep with each other," states guitarist Mandy Hardwick.

It's likely that a willingness to spread the songwriting duties around will also help save the five-piece from The Pixies' fate.

"It's collaborative all around," Hardwick says earnestly. "It's pretty amazing to be in a group of five and everyone writes.

"There's the odd song — someone's song that they've written on their own — but when it comes to the group, it takes its own shape because everyone has their own influence that goes into it."

The group — rounded out by Eli Leary, Jeremy Pelland, Chloe Gammon and Laura Hatfield — has definitely been noticing decreased pressure this year. They signed to Global Symphonic for this month's release of their debut full-length, Great Loves, bringing about a drastic change in the workload they experienced with their first, hand-made EP in 2006.

"It was awesome, having someone else do all that work, and all you have to do is get the art together," Hardwick says. "It was a big weight off, and that way, Chloe doesn't have to have tendonitis from hand-printing a whole bunch of EPs."

Life with a label also means cross-Canada touring. It's a first for Better Friends Than Lovers, who had previously only ventured as far as Alberta. They found out very quickly that life on the road isn't all it's cracked up to be.

"We left our van in Alberta because we lost a wheel," Hardwick laments. "It came flying off at top speed.

"We were stuck in a shitty small town that I won't name, and then we had to rent something. And the other band we're travelling with, their car broke down yesterday. So we all jammed into our new shiny SUV, which is obnoxious. So far it's been very interesting."

The cramped quarters they've been facing taught Hardwick another important rule about band relationships, and what to do when a bandmate is getting on your nerves.

"I think everyone knows to just go for a walk and get some space," she quips, "or have a double Caesar, and everything works out."

Assuming their new SUV stays in one piece, here's where you can catch Better Friends Than Lovers in the coming weeks:

Oct. 10 Toronto, ON @ The Boat
Oct. 11 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar w/Cougar Party
Oct. 15 Fredericton, NB @ ReNeu w/The Doers and Shawn Mrazek Lives!
Oct. 17 Moncton, NB @ Paramount
Oct. 20 Halifax, NS @ Hell's Kitchen w/Germans and The Got To Get Got (Halifax Pop Explosion)
Nov. 3 Vancouver, BC @ TBA w/Joel And The Last Of The Neighbours

-- Scott Bryson - Chart Magazine October 2007

Vancouver’s Better Friends than Lovers may have borrowed their moniker from Aretha Franklin but the comparisons to the Queen of Soul stop there. The west coast quintet’s debut album, Great Loves, gives piano-driven pop rock a good name, with just the right amount of guitar to fill out its sound, and just enough percussion to hold it all together. The four ladies and one lad’s no-fuss approach is what makes songs like “Teeter” and “Half the Battle” instantly likeable. Their lyrics about, as the album title says, great loves of all kinds are straightforward and punchy, showing why they cite Weezer’s blue album as an influence. But it’s Jeremy Pelland and Eli Leary’s vocals that make Better Friends than Lovers a particularly good listen. Their perfectly intertwining harmonies might even make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, just like the great loves that their music is all about. (Global Symphonic) - Exclaim! November 2007


Self titled E.P. 2005
Great Loves - full length to be released on Global Symphonic Records: September 2007



Five people uprooted from all around North America and met up in Vancouver, BC. They decided they would be Better Friends than Lovers. Following many shows, a self-titled e.p. and touring together, they passed the test of musical friendship and decided to record another album. Once described by CITR's Chris-a-riffic as a "pop bombast,"writing the latest album steered them into a grittier, sweaty dance rock. The band offers audiences a genuine enthusiasm for having a good time; catered by solid, anthemic live sets.