FICKLE FRIENDS // "YOU ARE SOMEONE ELSE" - ALBUM REVIEW
FICKLE FRIENDS RELEASE LONG AWAITED ANTICIPATED DEBUT ALBUM 'YOU ARE SOMEONE ELSE'
Brighton band Fickle Friends initially started to come together thanks to the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. That is where vocalist Natassja Shiner met drummer Sam Morris. They met the rest of the band (Bass Player Harry Herrington, Lead Guitarist Chris Hall and Keyboard player Jack Wilson) at BIMM Brighton, which is Brighton’s music college to the uninitiated. The group toured hard for two years, including sets at more than fifty festivals, before striking a deal with Polydor Records. Their first album, due out this month, was produced in Los Angeles by sought after British Producer Mike Crossey who has worked with the Arctic Monkeys, Keane, Jake Bugg, the Kooks, the 1975 and Razorlight to name just a few.
Fickle Friends are described by many as Indie Popsters and that is true to a degree they have a great knack of coming up with some great pop hooks, especially on “Hard To Be Myself” which was a 2017 single. Natassja has vocals that evoke Florence Welch and Dance Kylie and the band provide a funky take on the quality end of 90s dance music. “Say No More” builds slowly into an extravagant dance work out with some almost screaming guitar soloing towards the end; it hits you and hooks you in one simple smooth groove move. On “Heartbroken” they pour out their best Rihanna and frankly this is much more enjoyable than some of Ri Ri’s recent output. That song also contains some very clever lyrical couplets, notably “you think everything sucks, well I really couldn’t give two fucks”, which is now firmly etched into my brain for the foreseeable future.
The sparse soundscape of “In My Head” enable Natassja to show just how good her vocals are. I would like to hear her try a full on soulful ballad someday. The Pet Shop Boys would be very proud of “Rotation” which has a feel of Neil and Chris in their full 80s electro pomp. The production on this record is crisp and crystal particularly on “Hello Hello”, former singles “Glue” and Swim” the latter was rereleased earlier this year after initially coming out in 2014. My current favourite song on this collection is the band’s latest single “Wake Me Up” which opens the album and, apologies for the obvious cliché, would be a perfect track to have as your morning alarm!
This is a rather good first album for a band with great potential; it certainly sows the seeds and raises the bar much higher for Fickle Friends next release. The potential of some of these tracks to become festival anthems is huge and maybe this album will be a real grower.
FICKLE FRIENDS - UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
REVIEW BY: BILL ADAMSON