London’s indie music scene has some new friends – and you don’t need to worry about remembering their names.

The namelessness of Nameless Friends is quite literal: There’s Number One, lead vocalist and guitarist; Number Two, bassist; Number Three, guitarist, and Number Four, drummer.

You may have already encountered the group. They recently appeared in London Music Week’s Lo Floralia event showcasing local female-fronted bands.

Nameless Friends want you to know their music more than their names. Provided by Number One.
Nameless Friends want you to know their music more than their names. Provided by Number One.

The anonymous foursome can be recognized for its onstage uniform of plain black shirts, pants and boots. Their outfits are distinguished by a unique numeric symbol stitched above their hearts.

“It keeps things simple,” Number One explained, seated beside Number Three in their shared north London rehearsal and living space. “We’re not worried about the laundry.”

What’s in a name

Simplicity, among other things, has been one of the band’s core creeds since its humble beginnings in 2016. The project originally formed as a jam collaboration between fellow music students at Western University.

Number One and Number Three work out some chords. Credit: Angela McInnes.
Number One and Number Three work out some chords. Credit: Angela McInnes.

The group is entirely comprised of friends who are all outsiders to the Forest City. At the time, the moniker “Nameless Friends” was an easy way to get stage experience while keeping things low key.

“We were worried if we had a band name our friends knew about, they would come and we might suck and we didn’t want to do that in front of them,” One said. “So we signed up for a bunch of [London’s open jam nights] for Nameless Friends from Western.”

The group decided to go with the flow after positive associations grew with the name. They embarked on their first major tour across Canada in summer 2017, and released their first EP, Mezzanine, by fall 2018.

Music as a way to connect

“We definitely have a diverse sound, but the way we describe it to people is that it’s groovy Canadian rock,” One said. “We always have a goal of a certain sense of self-awareness in the music.”

This self-awareness is apparent in Mezzanine. Divorce, transition and personal loss inspired the EP. Titles like “Time to Come Clean”, “The Flood” and “Little Pieces” allude to a writing process that brought them musically together.

“[We said], okay, let’s make some really cathartic music, not necessarily for ourselves but as a way of reaching out to connect with other people when we were kind of in a hole dealing with grief and mental illness,” One said. “Music is kind of a way to do that, and reconnect with people when you’re not really sure how to be a person anymore.”

Making a toast

Now with the EP under their belt, the band is looking ahead to the release of their new single on July 12.

Number One works out some angst on stage. Provided by Number One.
Number One works out some angst on stage. Provided by Number One.

On the other side of catharsis, the single, “A Toast”, is an anthem for all who have survived some kind of trauma.

“This is the song we use to tell everyone that we’re going to smile now,” One said. “It’s one of the band’s oldest songs and didn’t make it onto the first record because at the time we just had no idea how to identify with any sense of victory or contentment or anything else. It seemed fitting to put it out now; you know, a toast finally gets its spot in the grieving process which is acceptance at the end, and you figure out how to move on to the next thing.”

Nameless Friends, once strangers to the inner workings of London’s scene, will introduce “A Toast” to the world alongside local bands Sneaker Club, Nimway, Allodays and Girlongirl.

“I think we’re finally starting to make some friends,” One said. “No pun intended.”

Nameless Friends debuts their new single at Rum Runners on July 12. Doors open at 7 p.m. Check out their event page to learn more. Find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Listen to their EP, Mezzanine, on Bandcamp.

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