NEW ALBUM: FICKLE FRIENDS | ARE WE GONNA BE ALRIGHT?
Having teased their second album throughout the past eighteen months via single and EP releases, a true Fickle Friends so you should be familiar with around half of their new album "Are We Gonna Be Alright?" already. The Brighton popsters used their duo of "Weird Years" EPs as a way to keep creating and releasing during the monotony of 2020, reflected in lyrics of "Write Me a Song," "Alone’" and side B highlight "IRL" odes to making music and human connection. So when it hits the mark, theirs is as radio-friendly a sound as it comes: "Pretty Great" has the kind of well-worn chord changes that are at once familiar and nostalgic, "IRL" possesses an earworm chorus, and Natti Shiner’s breathy, matter-of-fact vocal often brings to mind Sky Ferreira’s through the record’s twelve tracks. Unfortunately, it also often misses the mark. It’s a well-worn trope that it takes some doing for spoken-word breaks to work mid-song, and theirs, in the otherwise delicate "Glow," really doesn‘t. It isn’t until the penultimate number "Won’t Hurt Myself" that it feels like anything here has its own distinct identity. The album covers a range of feelings and emotions born out of frustration in relationships, anger and intensity to feeling crazy, mixed with joyous times recording the album, celebrating times and company with friends, savouring every moment, especially after such difficulty during the lockdown.