FRENSHIP Captures How’s Men’s ‘Inability To Be Vulnerable’ Can Be Deadly In ‘How A Man Dies’

After watching how men struggled to express how bad they were struggling during the pandemic, pop duo FRENSHIP channeled that anguish into an ode about being open with your feelings.

“Myself am hell,” wrote John Milton in Paradise Lost, describing the inescapable pain of “infinite wrath and infinite despair.” For many, the past few years have felt like that, and for FRENSHIP – the duo of James Sunderland and Brett Hite – they unpack those feelings in “How A Man Dies,” a synth-powered pop song about struggling with the hell inside. “You’re not supposed to cry / always keep it bottled up inside,” they sing on the track, detailing how a man dies. A man dies from “fak[ing] a smile when you’re half alive,” drinking, and keeping their soft side from showing.

“We wrote ‘How A Man Dies’ back in 2020 when we saw how many people were struggling,” the band shares with HollywoodLife. “We noticed how, out of everyone going through difficult things, men seemed to be struggling with struggling the most. It’s a tale as old as time for men in particular to show an inability to be truly vulnerable and intimate with others. The fact that we feel the need to clarify that we’re not talking about sexual intimacy is exactly the point.”

“Last summer, this song took on new life,” the band adds, “as we found ourselves unintentionally living out each line in the song. One of us suffering, the other choosing to be a part of that suffering. We each have a side to tell, they’re equally important to share.”

The story hit home for Brett after a long-term relationship “ended in a cruel and painful way.” While holding onto the pain of the breakup, Brett withdrew from his friends and family. This led to panic attacks, isolation, and a deteriorating lifestyle. “I wasn’t eating and was barely sleeping; averaging about 3 hours of sleep per night,” he shares. He finally reached out to James (“[He] was one of the first people I told”), and together, he opened up, “cried an ocean of tears,” and began the healing process.

“It’s a little surreal living out one of your songs in real life,” shares James. “A song we’d written for our friends became a song about our relationship. This whole thing has taught me to reprioritize mental health. And for anyone struggling out there, let people in. Let people in when it’s messy, especially when it’s messy. Most will happily help. Heavy feelings can be isolating so, please reach out because once you do, you’ll realize the universality of your feelings. I hope this song helps. Lots of love.”

FRENSHIP has been spreading the love since 2013. They’ve worked with Winona Oak, Tim Anderson, Lauren Sanderson, and Grace Gundy. In 2016, they teamed with Emily Warren for the global hit, “Capsize.” The song has over half a billion streams and is certified platinum in the US. In 2019, they released their debut album, Vacation, and promise more music to come throughout 2022.

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