Fickle Friends album review: ‘You Are Someone Else’

The debut LP from Brighton indie-pop outfit Fickle Friends is a long time coming since their first major appearance as competition winners at The Big Feastival in 2013. With a string of sugary-sweet and tangy EPs released in the years that followed, fans have been waiting with baited breath for a full length effort from the band, and they have not disappointed.

Despite the aura of frivolity around the album, the lyrics are not just airy and meaningless epithets, instead, Fickle Friends address issues that affect all of us; love and relationships, friendship and struggling with mental health. The band’s twitter page is currently revealing the meanings of each of the songs, with instant hit ‘Rotation’ depicts ‘the friend everyone loves to hate, who dips in and out of your life’ and the anthemic opener ‘Wake Me Up’ describes the feeling of ‘wanting a relationship to work so bad but deep down it’s not going anywhere’.

The album has several stand out tracks;  the clean and crisp ‘Bite’ defies pop genre conventions with its offbeat structure but it’s radio-friendly tone, swirling synth lines and catchy refrain make ‘Bite’ a jam that won’t stop swimming around your head for days. ‘Heartbroken’, which features in the latter half of album, works brilliantly as a contradiction of itself, the lively and upbeat tune juxtaposes the poignant lyrics, making this break-up song sound like a party banger.

The thumping beat of ‘Hard To Be Myself’ makes for a genuine hit – it is a pop triumph. It conveys an important and genuine point about needing a drink in order to be confident, demonstrating the skill with which Fickle Friends have managed to pair meaningful, relevant lyrics with pleasing pop tunes.

Some of the tracks feel a little similar, which does give the album a cohesive tone but also means that at some points, one song slopes into the next. However, the bubbly ambience that persists throughout ‘You Are Someone Else’ is infectious and powerfully executed. You can’t feel sad whilst listening to this! This synth-heavy record is a well needed escape from the snow and winds currently wrecking the country, it is one made for July and August, it ceaselessly radiates sunshine and makes for an easy listen. This LP is just an indication of the direction that Fickle Friends will undoubtedly follow in the future. ‘You Are Someone Else’ is a promise of great potential.

Words by Sophie Shrive.

 

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