The specificity of the lyrics produces second-to-none imagery that invokes the spirit of the 2003 Dierks Bentley classic, “What Was I Thinkin’”—now Utah style. Who hasn’t been young and in love? And by love, I mean super horny.
If I had to guess—based on the sexual charisma that the band as a whole exudes while on stage and in every promotional photo they’ve ever taken together—I’d say that this song is based on Hot Josh’s escapades before recently settling down (based on a recent Instagram post). You can feel the angst as he shreds through his solo, your head bobbing with the drums as they build just as Josh thoroughly finishes melting your face off.
When I reviewed their EP, To Love Someone, six months ago (shoutout Provo Music Magazine), my only critique of it was that it didn’t quite capture the sheer volume—a certain bombastic quality—that you experience at their live shows. With “She’s Just a Friend,” I no longer have that critique of their music. With their first release after that EP, they completely fixed the problem.
If you have had the pleasure of seeing Cardinal Bloom live, you no longer have to wait till the next show for the thrill of a lifetime. Throw on this song (with a decent speaker or pair of headphones), and transport yourself to one of their shows right now. Right now!
As you hit play, you can picture Hot Josh throwing off his shirt just before the song. You can smell the sweat—the musk—of a packed Velour or Kilby Court on a hot summer night. The energy is contagious as everyone in the crowd bounces along with them, and soon enough, you’re dancing around your office, and everyone is staring.
Unlike the band’s propensity to turn their backs on the crowd (literally), this song will never let you down.