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Album review: Fickle Friends - You Are Someone Else


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Filled to the brim with songs both old and new, this debut album from brighton-based band Fickle Friends have a song for every occasion.

Although the album has a mighty 16 tracks, You Are Someone Else lasts less than an hour to listen to. It displays the band's ability to create compact pop songs bursting with meaning, making them real contenders for your new favourite artist.

The record opens with the bittersweet 'Wake Me Up' that sets the tone for the album with their thought-provoking lyrics. It unapologetically pokes at the fear of failure residing in all of us, unafraid of honesty, but dressing it up with an upbeat rhythm connoting optimism. The chorus is chant-like, perfect for hyping up crowds at festivals and concerts, as vocalist Natti sings, "We are, we are, we are, we are, yeah. Yeah, we're absolutely failing." This juxtaposition between the lyrics and melody is a staple feature of the Fickle Friends style, but it never grows old. In this particular song it makes listeners feel proud of their failings, contrasting to the usual shaming culture; this is what makes this an anthem to sing at the top of your lungs.

As we delve deeper into the world of You Are Someone Else, we stumble across Fickle Friends staples like 'Glue' and 'Swim', the latter being a single that the band released on Soundcloud in 2014. Despite the time that has passed, the album still manages to run smoothly, their distinct retro sound linking each track together.

Having said that, the defining track that exemplifies their evolution is 'Lovesick', which instantly stands out as something special. It has a very different tone to the accompanying songs, carrying a more intimate and stripped back feel. The clicking during the verses contribute a unique dimension, and Natti's sharp intakes of breath only add to the staccato nature. This fits perfectly with the theme of underplaying having a crush, the lyrics almost brushing off the fact that she is "nothing but lovesick" as an inconvenience. During a time where pop songs across the charts are exaggerating and dramatising heartache, this is a welcomed change of message. The lyrics are one of my favourite things about this album, with the concepts of failure, coping with anxiety and self-love taking centre stage. 

The album closes with 'Useless'; while not the most optimistic note to end the album on, it manages to defy expectations. During the first half of the song it is questionable where this was the right choice for the closing number, but as the tempo gradually begins to build, the beat becoming more intense and the guitar riffs really start to make a statement. The defiant lyrics, "I won't fuel your love or addictions" that the album ends on is exactly the kind of round off that the record needed. It will leave you more than satisfied, and considering the many months that fans have spent anticipating this release, it is refreshing that Fickle Friends have succeeded in creating a solid debut album. 

If you are looking for infectious, sun-kissed hooks that won't leave your head for days, then these tunes are for you. 

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