Holly Humberstone and Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman took to the stage to deliver a duet of Humberstone’s track ‘Friendly Fire’ recently, performing the rendition in the last moments of the singer-songwriter’s concert at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Monday, November 8th. The track features on Humberstone’s second EP, The Walls Are Way Too Thin.
Surrounded by deep-pink stage lighting, Humberstone’s velveteen voice emerges out of the warm musk conjured up by Steadman’s gently strummed Fender Telecaster. She already has the crowd in the palm of her hand when Steadman joins in the second verse, adding his hard-edged vocals to the mix to create something rich, tender, and undeniably captivating.
It isn’t the first time Humberstone has performed ‘Friendly Fire’ as a duet with one of her collaborators. She previously joined forces with Griff for what she decided as the ‘Emotional Grim Reaper’ version of what is already a fairly melancholy number. Elsewhere she also stripped back her song ‘Scarlett’ with the help of indie-popper, Ruel.
According to Humberstone, ‘Friendly Fire‘ was written “on a very confusing holiday in autumn of ,” going on to explain that the song coincided with a period that should have been rejuvenating, but which ended up being anything but. “It was meant to be some time to heal but it became an agonising period of overthinking about the relationship I was in,” she said.
Humberstone’s opaque lyrics in ‘Friendly Fire’ reflect her inability to understand her own emotional state during this period: “I was very stressed because I knew the relationship was good and just couldn’t understand what was wrong with me or why I was having these weird confusing feelings,” she began, adding: “I felt I needed to get it off my chest and this song was my way of saying, ‘If I do hurt you in the future then I never meant to and I’m sorry.'”
Holly Humberstone’s recent EP, The Walls Are Way Too Thin follows 2020’s Falling Asleep At The Wheel, the six-track record that gave Humberstone the much-loved single of the same name. Her newest offering features tracks like ‘Haunted House’ and ‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’, the latter of which sees Humbersotne collaborate with the 1975’s Matty Healy.
See the performance, below.