Fan of Friends: From the Desk of…


  1. Alaskas
  2. Give Yourself a Coffee Break
  3. With Fear and Amazement
  4. Directions
  5. Drunkards
  6. Brake Light Eyes
  7. Everything
  8. Ticks
  9. Larks are Card Keys Download Larks are Card Keys
  10. Countertop Landscapes

Fan of Friends is a quartet that plays folk music with a great deal of respect for the old and new traditions of the genre. Featuring banjo, guitar, violin, and cello, Fan of Friends create dark, somber songs that fuse that the gritty urban landscape of the band’s Philadelphia home with Appalachian folk and string-quartet classical music. With three of its members alternating between lead vocal duties, the Fan of Friends’ songs a wide diversity while maintaining a sharp consistency.

The group ‘s primary vocalist is Joshua Marcus, whose has released two tremendous solo albums and was a member of the Philadelphia band Like Moving Insects. He is joined by sisters Harmony and Chelsea Thompson on strings and Josh Newman (of Adam Arcuragi’s band) on guitar and bass.

What distinguishes the quartet from Marcus’s solo work is Harmony’s gripping, chilling singing and the cryptic songs from Newman. The band excels both in its simplicity and their uncanny ability to weave their voices in and out in harmony. It’s modern folk music that has much in common with R.E.M. and Fleet Foxes.

Originally started as a quintet that featured Adam Granduciel, currently the frontman of Philadelphia’s War on Drugs, the band coalesced as a quartet. After almost three years of playing shows (mostly at alternative spaces in Philadelphia) and appearance at the Popped! Philadelphia festival, Fan of Friends’ first release was a 7″ vinyl single released by High Two in 2007.

Fron the Desk of… marks the second collaboration between High Two and Contraphonic. In April 2008, the two labels co-released Joshua Marcus’s second solo album, Reverse the Charges. The album features Marcus’s songs exclusively, but relies on support from the members of Fan of Friends, plus 30 additional musicians for incredible folk orchestrations. Promotional copies of Reverse the Charges are available upon request.


“Reverse The Charges reminds us that though songs of love and loss have been with us since we lived in trees, those are topics that never lose their power; we all struggle with the same juju. Sounding like a jaded Neil Young, or an even more exhausted Will Oldham, Marcus creates deeply effective songs that are melodic but with a sense of weariness.” — Foxy Digitalis
” I’ve been a big fan of Joshua Marcus since I first heard his yearning, plaintive vocals, his resonating banjo and his updated Appalachian mountain music.” — Songs:Illinois
” West Philly is the land of potlucks, porch gatherings and living room concerts. I first fell under the raw and open-hearted spell of the band Fan of Friends at one of these shows two years ago. Marcus sings, but then, they all sing. I get a chill when Harmony’s voice reaches up cresting unevenly over the evocative refrain “Who do you think you are?” in the song “Larks Are Card Keys.” It’s a spell song, one of the most right there and real in young American folk. Marcus earnestly beckons listeners with his stripped-down banjo playing and warm, dark vocal strains. Look for FOF’s new 7-inch from High Two. Fan I am of these friends. — Philadelphia City Paper

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