Interview: Talking with Stacy Kim of Bestfriend about “Someplace Else”

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Bestfriend
Photo: Maxine Lucille
       

Canada’s DIY bedroom indie-pop duo Bestfriend releases “Someplace Else,” a track lifted from their forthcoming EP, places I’ve left, slated for release this summer.

Talking about the track, the duo shares, “‘Someplace Else’ is a song about crushes and daydreaming, really. It’s about thinking back fondly on time you spent with someone and fantasizing about spending it again. It’s about journaling on a train. It’s about puppy love and a summer romance begging to be more. Feeling understood by someone in a way that feels special you don’t recognize. It’s optimistic and positive and genuinely happy.”

From Vancouver/Toronto, Bestfriend released their debut EP, places I’ve lived, last fall, quickly amassing more than 1.5 million streams. They’ve been featured in numerous elite outlets, as well as appearing on Spotify’s playlists: Lorem, Bedroom Pop, and my life is a movie.

Made up of Stacy Kim (vocals, guitar) and Kaelan Geoffrey (synthesizer), the duo met through a mutual friend, followed by Instagram DMs in 2018. Their sound brims with sun-dappled misty hues, nostalgia, and low-slung creamy textures.

Guitar Girl Magazine spoke with Stacy Kim to find out more about the person behind the music, the upcoming EP, and musical influences.

What inspired your new single “Someplace Else?”

Summer, being in love with a girl who makes things feel easy, and the difficult things easier to get through.

You have a new EP, places i’ve left, releasing this summer. What can you share about the EP?

places i’ve left is the sister EP for places i’ve lived, which we considered to be, like, a series of love letters to our past lives – college life, relationships, friendships, all of the places we used to live, et cetera. places i’ve left is going to close this era out for us, and is really going to be a series of songs that are forward-looking; what are we doing now? What are we dealing with now, good, or bad? What are we, as people, but also as Bestfriend, going to do from here?

If you were to describe your music to the uninitiated, how would you describe it?

We really just like to tell a good story, shine a light on a good emotion, that sorta stuff. Usually to a strong beat and some silly guitars or whatever.

Did Bestfriend’s sound develop naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?

Naturally. Kaelan and I listened to a scary amount of the same music growing up without even knowing each other. There were certainly lots of deliberate decisions made throughout the process, but it really did get to where it did organically for the most part.

How did you first get into music?

Music in general runs in my family. My dad was in a touring rock band in Korea growing up, and my mom is insanely good at the piano, which carried over to my younger sister, who can sightread like no other. I was definitely one of those stubborn kids who refused to learn instruments that my parents would make me learn, but man am I glad I did. Played lots of instruments growing up, high school band, all of that fun stuff.

What sparked the interest?

I think writing came first for me. I’ve always been someone with a lot to say, for better or worse, and I had no idea where to put it all. Songwriting became a way to sort of make sense of it all and direct it in a way that just felt like a natural extension.

Where are you from?

Seoul, South Korea! I did immigrate here when I was 3, so I can’t claim the “born and raised” bit.

Did your hometown impact your sound?

I think in a really subtle way, it did. My mom and dad listened to a lot of classic Korean rock and acoustic stuff while Korea was really starting to get into the K-Pop craze. Lots of mix CDs in our old Honda when we first moved here.

Which artists/musicians had the most impact on your sound?

I think that Julia Jacklin is one of the best songwriters of our generation and so I’ve really learned a lot from her in the sense of melodies and honesty in songwriting. Sometimes the most obvious thing to do is the best thing to do. Production-wise we’re really huge fans of Glass Animals, Rostam’s style of production.

Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

Holly Humberstone! Olivia Rodrigo! Doja Cat!

Who or what inspires you?

Honestly, our friends. We’re both friends with lots of artists varying in mediums from music to writing to art and we’re constantly feeling really lucky to be surrounded by people who are so passionate about what they do.

What can your fans expect over the next six months? New material? Live gigs?

Live gigs, cool merch, definitely new material. You won’t have to wait long!

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