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Public Universal Friend

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Public Universal Friend (PUF) is an Indianapolis-based art rock band fronted by queer goth americana matriarch Jody Galadriel Friend.

After a decade-plus solo career, PUF’s 2021 debut Perennials served as a touchstone coming out record for Friend, who came out as a gay trans woman in tandem with its release. The full-length earthy art rock opus showcases sonic roots of post-punk, 90s alternative, and echoes in Friend’s native Appalachian folk and hymnary.

Since the release, Friend galvanized her place as a beloved mother figure in the Indianapolis queer music scene with her live band including up to eight members, whose queer representing, woman-empowering, fashion forward, socially angsty dynamism, having earned them attention from NPRAmericana Music Association via Amythyst KiahSecretly CanadianIndy PridePattern (fashion magazine), and Music in Transit, even becoming the first trans-led act to be featured on the London-based Mahogany Sessions global video campaign with OnePlus.

PUF’s upcoming 2023 release Chrysalis is a vindictive queering of Friend’s native Appalachian sound, the dies irae of bold romance paired with the profound grief of southern gothic deconstruction. Since its live debut, the lead single, ‘Jesus, Pt. 1‘ has become a queer evangelical anthem, spoken to those ostracized by the southern culture of bigotry, having dogmatically cast trans folks as “an abomination” to which Friend leans in and nearly whispers, “then I guess I’ll see you all in hell.”

Chrysalis gives credence to a range of emotionalism found in the pursuit of love, authenticity, and integration that only Public Universal Friend can deliver. The release includes singles such as hymn-like a cappella opening track ‘Mama, In Your Arms,’ the low fidelity bedroom rock classic ‘Horrorscope’, in collaboration with Madeleine Jurkiewicz of Joyful Noise’s Lily + Madeleine, and the oldest song on the record ‘War,’ written when Friend was only 19.

Since their debut, PUF has launching Friend into the place of beloved mother figure in the Indianpolis queer music scene. The extensive community of the Indianapolis music, art, and fashion scenes have led to the inception of a solid, supportive, and spirited audience spreading throughout the Midwest and South.

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Apr 15
Jessie Phelps
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