Photocomfort releases a stale friendship in new single and video ‘Roll’

Photo Credit: Cliff Notez

As far as dismissals go, Photocomfort knows how to let someone down easy. “Roll away from me now / Roll away and close your eyes,” she sings to a former friend on “Roll,” her single and video that arrived last week (June 28). The tender goodbye is the first new music from the Boston alt-pop artist — a.k.a. Justine Bowe — since her 2018 EP Understudy, although the single arrived with news of a forthcoming LP titled Patron Saint.

“Sometimes you have to make a friendship so expansive and flexible so that a person can grow and thrive,” Bowe reflects. “That person might just grow so much they get out of it and walk right out the door—and you have to let them.” 

With “Roll,” Bowe unfurls sympathy for this mystery friend while enforcing the new boundary between them, cushioning the parting song with notes of yearning pedal steel. To help process the loss, Bowe tapped a different pal to enhance her songwriting process: Musician and onetime Boston resident Anjimile.

“I asked them to send me something like that scream noise in ‘Jump Around’ so that I could make a beat with it,” she explains. “They shouted, ‘HEY!!!’ and their partner responded by giggling in the background — I kept it all in. That’s how these songs all started — some real conversation, some stupid bit with a friend, lots of room tone, conversations, laughter… everything stuck.” 

Roll into Photocomfort’s new era below.