Four years since the Brighton based group dropped their first single Swim, Fickle Friends have grown from strength to strength. Since the release of Swim, they’ve had plenty of time to perfect the electronic-infused indie-pop sound that found them acclaim with their Velvet and Glue EPs. You Are Someone Else, their long-awaited debut album, delivers more of those tried-and-tested powerful synths, thumping beats, and anthemic sing-in-the-car pop choruses that we’ve come to expect from the quartet.
The opening song of the album, Wake Me Up, is a glitzy, synth-fuelled roof-raiser that sets the tone for the rest of the album and is followed by an old favourite Glue, and a remastered version of 2014’s Swim. The winning trio is somewhat let down by Bite which isn’t as strong as the other material, however as we move into the mid-section of the album that is more than forgiven. Hard To Be Myself introduces a slightly moodier tone (well, as moody as the eternally sunny Fickle Friends can be!). Natassja Shiner confesses her insecurities and loses herself to the party as her vocals shine over a disco-inspired scattered beat and expansive, rich synths. Even more so on Say No More, which draws comparisons to The 1975, and on the ironically upbeat Heartbroken. Both are stand out tracks in their own right, but none more so than In My Head, which has the most stripped back production on the whole album with Shiner’s sombre vocals accompanied by atmospheric, droning synths.
This leads us into the final stretch of the album as the pace suddenly picks up once more. Rotation is a disco-infused dance-floor filler, bound to get you on your feet! Followed by the charming Hello Hello which serves saccharine pop sweetness that wouldn’t be amiss on a Carly Rae Jepsen record. Shiner drops to her lower register on Paris, a mid-tempo cut that leans more towards an indie style than pop. Continuing the location theme, Brooklyn delivers the album’s title lyric “you are someone else” in the hook. On the penultimate track She the group opts for a lower tone, a trend that continues on Useless. The final track delivers bodied bass, and an earworm hook that leaves us wanting more.
Overall, You Are Someone Else proves to be worth the long wait, as Fickle Friends showcase that the time spent honing their unique sound has been put to good use. If you’re looking for an album full of upbeat, dancefloor anthems to cure the cold dregs of winter, then this is the album for you.
Fickle Friends You Are Someone Else is available on cassette (yes, really), vinyl, CD and to download via iTunes here from Fri 16 March.
By Daniel Kassim
fickle friends you are someone else review