LongFriend TimeFriend, featuring Rowan alum, Pete Imbesi, released their punk cover of the Phillies' 2022 chosen winning song. - Animation / Em McMahon & Pete Imbesi

The past two weeks have been an incredibly exciting and emotional time if you’ve been following Philly sports. With the Phillies winning the NLCS and moving on to competing in the World Series, fans were consistently caught screaming the Calum Scott cover of the Robyn song, “Dancing On My Own,” as a city-wide anthem to celebrate the team’s success this season. 

Calum Scott however, was not the only artist that covered the original popular Robyn song. Local Philadelphia band, LongFriend TimeFriend, featuring drummer Pete Imbesi, a Rowan University alum, created a unique, “punk rock cover” of the song. The song was released on Oct. 21 and is accompanied by an animated video on Youtube. 

The band is composed of four musicians, who also happen to be two sets of lifelong friends. 

“Our guitarist and vocalist Em, they and I have been playing music together since we were twelve or thirteen,” said Imbesi. “We met our freshman year of high school and played in a ska-punk band called the Political Party Crashers for like ten years together.”

It was not until after the band broke up, that they were able to forge a new musical collaboration.  

“The band broke up a couple of years ago when we were shortly out of college,” said Imbesi. “We [Imbesi and Em] stayed good friends and we both worked on music independently and would kind of show each other our stuff, but we always had the idea of wanting to start another band.”

The band is local to the city and due to the team’s success and the increasing popularity of the song, a unique opportunity was presented to make a cover. Especially since Philly sports have inspired the band before.

“We were doing a thing where people could pay us to do covers,” Imbesi said. “One of the people that supported us wanted us to do a cover of the Philadelphia 76ers… their victory song. They have a song called ‘Here Comes the Sixers’ and it’s like an old disco song… It was really successful and it’s a thing we still really like to play live whenever it’s basketball season and we don’t think we’re going to jinx the team.” 

The band’s experience and the popularity surrounding the song provided a perfect opportunity to create their own spin on the beloved tune. 

“When the Phillies made it into the World Series… they chose ‘Dancing On My Own’ as their victory anthem. We were like ‘this is incredible, this is this iconic queer power pop song that is getting chosen by this Philly sports team that had no business making it this far,’” he said. “It just felt like a really awesome, kind of perfect moment.”

Despite the Phillies losing the series, fans will still have the song as a musical reminder of just how magical the City of Brotherly Love was in the weeks leading up to the games. The song was a symbol of how dedicated fans were to their team and hometown. The cover only exemplifies how inspiring the song was for Philadelphians. 

The band’s cover serves as a reminder of the fans’ love and dedication to their music and their team, especially considering the circumstances in which the song was written. The band created the song in just a few days — wanting to get it out for fans before the series ended.

“The context in how it got done is I think the most interesting part of it. We had decided that we were going to do it, but we decided we were going to do it the week before I was getting married,” said Imbesi. “I got married on Oct. 22, and we started working on it the Monday of that week.”

The timelines of the games and these life events left the band with just a few days to create the song, the animation and release it. 

“That was part of the mentality, we only have this week to get it done…we wanted to get it out before the series,” Imbesi said. “So it was kind of like ‘alright let’s try it! Let’s do our best and see what we get done and hopefully, it comes together’ and thankfully it did.” 

The song can be streamed on Youtube, and their other music, including their album “If Me Dies, Me Dies,” and their split EP with the New York-based band, Marinara, “Eagles Court,” can be found on most streaming platforms, like Spotify and Bandcamp.

The band is thankful for the support from Philly fans and encourages people who liked the cover to check out their other music as well. 

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