Fickle Friends - You Are Someone Else
You Are Someone Else
It's a little surprising that this new album You Are Someone Else is the first from British electropop outfit Fickle Friends. They have been producing singles and EPs since 2015 but never released a full album until now. This 16 track monolith is filled with those songs and a few others. The first two tracks set the tone for this record and it's bright popness fronted by Natassja Shiner's crystal clear vocal and bouncy synths. The bop on tracks like "swim" is fucking fantastic as it is for much of this record. They have this really great knack for finding a stellar downbeat then letting the synths swirl around it. Sometimes electropop can have this neon sheen to it that is way to corny to really enjoy, but when someone does it right it really shines. "Bite" is the first track that really breaks with this sound and instead puts together this drum machine heavy almost Miami Soundsystem level percussion. Though most of the songs have similar subject matters (young love) they do enough to set the songs apart. There is plenty of lving, parting and dancing going on throughout the record but the music is really well done so it never gets stale. Just when you think you might have Fickle Friends all figured out "Lovesick" comes on with this killer fucking bass line that drives the song harder than hell. I dare you to try and sit still listening to "Lovesick" then right behind comes "Say No More" which takes the torch from "Lovesick" and runs with it. .The staccato nature of these tracks is so splendid and when coupled with Shiner's bold bright voice it really works.
Now, I've been pretty hyped up by this record to this point but there are a few issues. "Heartbroken" has this super screechy chorus which doesn't really quite work and the bridge has this pretty lame line: "You think everything sucks, i really couldn't give two fucks". It doesn't quite make sense in a song that really doesn't make sense. There is also the issue with the length. At 51 minutes and 16 tracks this is a missive record with a ton of music, but at least ten minutes of it is unnecessary. "In My Head" crawls for far too long and really goes no where, sort of creating this odd interlude. The 1975 do this as well where they will throw in shorter songs that have a sort of ambient nature to them which often land, as they do here, with a thud. "Brooklyn" also sounds so derivative of late 80s female R&B that it is almost off putting. The later third of the album also drags more than it should, but keeping up the pace set by the first part of the album would be nearly impossible. Asking a 13th track to band as hard as the second is a difficult ask and one that as Fickle Friends evolve will learn to master. As a whole You Are Someone Else is a great debut for a band with a hell of a lot of potential, only time will tell if they capitalize.
8.4 out of 10