A cerulean blue android spins his regretful victory song on a keyboard odyssey from a bric-a-brac robot factory to a sunny, magic beach town finale, while riding sonic waves of piano, synth and brassy percussion shuffles. ROBOT ODDiTY is the summer 2022 Modern soft rock track from Friends To The End. The accompanying edgy music video with a psychedelic twist paints a tale of indoctrination and moral discovery by Thom Kurtz, the creator behind his Friends To The End band project, with a near-death experience in a raging fire at a power plant, while living as “wires inside an iron can.”
ROBOT ODDiTY is the follow-up to the Youtube music video hit Where’d You Put The Baby?, now with over 140K views. This Modern soft rock new wave satire of a romantic couple questioning their priorities finds them frantically searching the house, while what they find becomes more surreal, such as a vastly oversized baby and visions of Abe Lincoln and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The appropriately frantic, guitar-heavy music and accusatory vocals were obviously inspired by David Byrnes’ subversive lyrics and the early days of Talking Heads.
Kurtz’s trademark creative artistry, propelled by his arsenal of experimental theatre pop songwriting, is flavored by such wide ranging influences as Bowie to Steely Dan, Keith Jarrett to Duke Ellington, and Todd Rundgren to David Grisman. What Thom Kurtz calls Modern soft rock — always including top-of-the-line ensemble instrumentation fused with song-specific, custom-built vocals – is a kind of singer-songwriter storyteller fusing various shades of chamber pop, and art and prog rock.
Friends To The End was first launched to the DSPs like Spotify and Apple Music in August 2020, with the debut in audio and music video of Love On The Rocks (Shipwrecked) featuring vocal melancholy by young Julia Courtney, against a dark and dreary sky shipwrecked on the rocks of another broken romance. A shimmering, Chopin-inspired piano riff brightens the Modern soft rock ballad with a hopeful glimmer as Julia surveys other ships along the bay. Viewership for the Friends To The End music channel tops 2,000 subscribers with more than 800K total views, for three more recent single releases through 2021, and also including promo and demo videos released since 2016, such as “Ameri-Cat Idol.”
The lovely Susanna Lee sings the breezy Pacific coast vocals for the hopeful anthem, A World Of Troubles featuring peppy “Penny Lane”-meets-Haydn trumpet fanfares and a lyrical study of everlasting parts of life and the earth, such as air in the sky, salts in the sea, and the wind on the ocean.
Kurtz mixes the inner voice of his lyrics with imaginative visions of emotional illustrations, unleashing the deep power of wisdoms of ‘humanhood’ and punctuated by musical touches of whimsy, joy and sometimes sorrow, where the sound and vision collide. What’s specially poignant is how each song is a destination on life’s journey, as well as a journey through the Friends To The End song catalog. Thom Kurtz produced roughly two dozen song masters over two and a half years using his background in literature, art and film as a guide to the musical arrangements and collaboration with over three dozen session musicians.
Says Kurtz, “Friends To The End sounds like a group of people, but it’s really a group of songs – and each song is one giant stepping stone.” Now establishing Friends To The End as a performing band is Kurtz’s next near term challenge, in support of the exciting release of ROBOT ODDiTY, the next enchanting step on the path to bring all these friends of his to the public.