It was about time Fickle Friends made an album. This indie five-piece from Brighton have released two EPs, Velvet in 2015 and Glue in 2017, along with a string of other stand-alone singles, keeping us waiting for a long time for their hotly anticipated debut LP. With a mixture of old and new tracks, fans will be satisfied with the Fickle Friends hits they know and love, paired with some more experimental songs that keep them sounding fresh, fun and exciting.
The album kicks off with their latest single, ‘Wake Me Up’, a lively, pop-like track that will certainly wake listeners up (apologies for the terrible pun). According to the band’s Twitter page, “’Wake Me Up’ is the last song we wrote for the album, it is about willing a relationship to work so bad but you know deep down it’s not going anywhere”. In the same vein, Fickle Friends discuss many issues in the album that someone might experience as a teenager or a young adult, including love, relationships, friendship, mental health and letting go, reflecting the band’s youth themselves.
“Fickle Friends are known for their incredibly catchy and meaningful lyrics”
Fans will be familiar with classic Fickle Friends bangers like ‘Swim’, ‘Hello Hello’ and ‘Say No More’, which are a perfect combination for the warmer spring weather due to their feel-good, summery vibes. But I also anticipate that many will be happy with new hits like ‘Bite’ and ‘She’, which have high-energy electronica influences and highlight lead singer Natti’s flawless, sweet and effortless vocals. Fickle Friends are known for their incredibly catchy and meaningful lyrics and they continue this trend through much of the album.
Another new song that channels the well-loved Fickle Friends sound is ‘Heartbroken’, which is very upbeat despite the title and makes being heartbroken seem like a party. The band described this song on their Twitter as “about feeling disheartened when you write a song that you love but no-one replies when you send it to them. You would rather everyone was just straight with you and said “this sucks”…..”
“Natti revealed that she has a glass of wine before every gig”
One of my favourite songs from You Are Someone Else is ‘Hard To Be Myself’. I saw them perform this live at their gig at Rescue Rooms last October, and Natti described this song as the feeling when you need a drink to loosen you up a bit, which I think sums up every house party or pre-drinks ever. It’s also ironic since I was very intoxicated at this gig and certainly wasn’t finding it hard to let go and have a dance myself. Natti revealed that she has a glass of wine before every gig she ever does to calm her nerves, a good tactic if you ask me.
As much as I wanted to love every single song on the album, there are a couple of tracks that I was disappointed by. One of these is ‘In My Head’ which reminds me of The 1975’s shorter filler songs. It is completely different to anything I have heard from Fickle Friends before, contemplating loneliness in a dream-like, entrancing sound. I’m not sure it completely works for me, but I have to give them credit for trying. Secondly, I was slightly underwhelmed by ‘Rotation’, which is too repetitive and unmemorable for my liking.
“I understand the band’s wish to create new music”
There are a couple of notable absences from the album, for example ‘Cry Baby’ and a personal stand-out for me, ‘Sugar’. In spite of this, I understand the band’s wish to create new music for the fans that have stuck around since they formed in 2013, rather than just re-work and re-release their old material.
Fickle Friends have been vocal about the fact that they support equality in music and want to encourage equal representation of men and women on stage. Being a band dominated by men, there is just lead singer Natti holding her own for all the women out there. In the past she has spoken about some of the problems they have faced when branded as a female-fronted band, which Natti considers unfair and sexist, and I totally agree with her. A male band would never receive the same title.
The band will be playing an intimate, stripped back gig at Rough Trade in Nottingham on March 16th, the official release date of their album. I sadly can’t attend myself, but in my experience they are always impeccable live, so I would definitely recommend popping along to celebrate the release of You Are Someone Else.
“I can’t wait for them to release more music”
This is the first album in what I predict will be a very long and successful career. I absolutely adore Fickle Friends and everything they stand for, and I can’t wait for them to release more music in the future and watch them as they continue to grow.
Image Courtesy of Fickle Friends Official Webpage