Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else Review

Have you ever gone through a long, dreary day at work thinking about a giant chocolate bar or something you’re going to devour when you get home, and then when you eventually eat it you eat it too quickly, or have too much, and you feel a bit off for the rest of the evening? A bit of a disappointment, right? Well, that’s kind of what Fickle Friends’ debut album, You Are Someone Else, feels like.

The Brighton-based 5-piece first started getting noticed in 2013 after playing Jamie Oliver’s ‘The Big Feastival’, and five years later their first LP has finally arrived. The album hosts 16 tracks, filled with glimmering indie-pop hits, guaranteed to soundtrack the ideal summer barbeque. Summing up their sound best is Brooklyn, with pulses of eighties sizzle pumped throughout to support catchy lyrics and chorus instrumentalism comparable to a more pop-ish The 1975. It’s a track guaranteed to inspire emphatic dancing in the venues they’ll sell out. In similar veins come Lovesick – which has an incredible bass hook – Hello Hello, and Say No More. Alternatively, Midnight injects a bit of a heavier element of bass in the intro, showing a little more diversity to their happy-go-lucky indie style. Aside from that, there’s not a whole lot of change. Fickle Friends’ take on the genre is one I really like, and many songs will definitely feature on a good summer playlist, but there’s just a lot of it, with no songs really standing out, as many just blur into the next.

Having said that, not everything is all smiles and rainbows. The shimmery synths often engulf introspective and bleak lyricism. Hard To Be Myself is riddled with anxiety, while Paris offers a sense of self doubt when it comes to ending a relationship. The youthful euphoria of the backing tracks often juxtapose the lyrics, which seems to be a clever way of representing a sense of naivety as this young band begin to experience different things for the first time; dominated fervour and ecstasy, underscored with a tinge of fear.

Other times, the solemn lyrics are more noticeable. The incessant joyous instrumentalism is broken up by In My Head, which strips away the extravagance of the earlier songs to provide a raw intermission about mental deterioration and loneliness. Album opener Wake Me Up – though much more prevalent in it’s instrumental presence and thumping bassline – chants some pretty pessimistic lyrics: the chorus, for example, is dominated by the words “we are absolutely failing”.

There’s not much more to say about You Are Someone Else other than it’s just…good. There’s no doubt Fickle Friends are hugely talented musicians – this album proves it in bucket loads – but after you’re 16 songs worth of persistent jaunty indie-pop down, you’d be forgiven for switching onto something else.

Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else: 6/10

Ellie Chivers

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