Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Fickle Friends, easy life, girl in red, dodie and Regard

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

After a week of lifted lockdown and preparing to return back to lectures and seminars, Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from Fickle Friends, easy life, girl in red, dodie and Regard.

Cosmic Coming of Age – Fickle Friends (Gemma):

Inspired by the change-filled transitional period of Saturn return which is commonly deemed a quarter-life crisis, Cosmic Coming of Age is a reflective track with a playful indie-pop spin. This concept has been an underlying theme of many of Fickle Friends’ ‘Weird Years’ releases so far, but on Cosmic Coming of Age it is referenced directly and it is more blatant and obvious than before.

Cosmic Coming of Age is about that transitional period in life where everything seems to fall apart, a kind of quarter life crisis,” she explains. “One moment you have everything together, the next it feels like you have to start life from scratch. In horoscope astrology this is seen as the time of reaching full adulthood, and man does the universe make you work for it!”

Fickle Friends speak of this period of turbulence and uncertainty with reflective positivity. Through describing it as a “coming of age”, it seems that lead vocalist Natti Shiner has come out of the other side of Saturn return. She seems to have more clarity and certainty within herself now, and she is able to reflect on her growth positively. The band merge this unique and interesting lyrical topic with the typical upbeat indie sound of their previous releases.

4 stars

skeletons – easy life (Gemma):

The second taste of their forthcoming album ‘Life’s a Beach’, easy life’s latest single skeletons is a much more typical single than their previous release a message to myself. It follows the typical yet catchy verse–pre-chorus–chorus song structure, sound-tracked by a skittering and funky electronic instrumental.

It is an infectious track with a summer vibe

Skeletons plays with the idea of a slightly mysterious and potentially terrifying past. Everyone has baggage and everyone has skeletons. Falling head over heels with somebody who may be bad news, we’ve all been there,” explained frontman Murray Matravers.

The Leicester five-piece’s debut album is highly anticipated, and skeletons is guaranteed to only add to this hype. It is an infectious track with a summer vibe, and Matravers’ swaggering confidence oozes through both his spoken word delivery and his catchy chorus vocals.

4 stars

You Stupid B*tch – girl in red (Gemma):

Prior to the roll-out of her upcoming debut album ‘if i could make it go quiet’, girl in red was primarily associated with soft bedroom-pop romantic ballads. As it turns out, she has much more to offer. You Stupid B*tch is a bold indie banger, complete with repetitive and catchy ‘woahs’ in the verses and a memorable sing-a-long chorus.

The song was inspired by unreciprocated love, a situation which she compared with the famous The Perks of Being a Wallflower quote “we accept the love we think we deserve”. “It’s a very heart-breaking line, but it’s really what I was experiencing in this situation,” she further explains. “I was always there for this person who would get their heartbroken and I would just come running. I would drop everything just to be there for them. That person would never see me as anything else than just a friend, even though I feel like I could’ve made her so happy.”

The track is infused with a sassy and feisty attitude, as Ulven repeatedly sings “You stupid b*tch / Can’t you see / The perfect one for you is me.” It is a direct and straightforward single about a situation which many people have been in and will relate to. It shows a new side of Ulven’s personality, demonstrating that she is using her debut album as an opportunity to develop and present new strengths.

3 and a half stars

I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You) – dodie (Kiah):

The latest single to come from ‘Build a Problem’, dodie’s debut studio album, I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You) dates back to 2019 when dodie released a preview of the song on Instagram. The song is a slow acoustic track that depicts the process of trying to move on after a relationship has ended.

the echoes and background noise at the start of the track add to the confessional feel of the song

A short and melancholic track that lasts only two and a half minutes long, I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You) is sonically a lot different to dodie’s last single Hate Myself, but lyrically follows a similar downhearted theme. The echoes and background noise at the start of the track add to the confessional feel of the song, alongside the layered harmonies during the chorus which also create a sad and nostalgic atmosphere.

When discussing her new song dodie said “It’s the feeling of trying to patch over a broken, lonely heart by indulging in a revenge fantasy of promiscuity – sadly only resulting in feeling lost, lonelier and shameful.” dodie’s soft vocals on the track perfectly capture the longing and emotion that lies behind the song, the whispered lines holding all the shameful emotions. After being postponed twice due to supply issues caused by the pandemic, the rest of ‘Build a Problem’ is now due to be released in early May 2021.

4 stars

You – Regard, Troye Sivan and Tate McRae (Kiah):

The new synth pop single You is a collaboration sung by Troye Sivan and Tate McRae and produced by DJ Regard. You marks the first release of 2021 for Australian singer songwriter Troye Sivan, moving past his ‘In A Dream’ E, whilst Canadian singer-songwriter Tate McRae released her second EP, ‘Too Young To Be Sad’, just last month.

The vibrant and upbeat synths that accompany the track are courtesy of DJ Regard, whose 2019 remix of Jay Sean’s song Ride recently went viral on TikTok, reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. When being interviewed about the new song You, Regard commented that “working with Troye and Tate was unbelievable! They are both such professional artists and contributed so much, it was an honour getting to work with them.” You details the difficulty of moving on from someone, especially when alcohol is added to the situation.

You was originally announced when McRae uploaded a TikTok of herself singing along to the track, which Sivan later made a duet TikTok to. The unlikely collaboration between McRae and Sivan surprised fans due to their generally dissimilar music styles, but their voices paired on You creates a smooth pop song with an upbeat kick.

3 and a half stars

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Featured image courtesy of Nina via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @ficklefriends @girlinred and @djregardofficial via No changes made to this images.

To listen to all of these tracks, check out the New Releases Roundup playlist on Spotify.

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