The early signs are strong for Fickle Friends, a pop group from Brighton who are getting the kind of early buzz which could see them break the mainstream with the release of their debut album next year. Together since 2013, they started out in the music breeding ground of Brighton, responsible for the likes of Royal Blood, James Bay and Rizzle Kicks in recent years. This was the ideal location for the band to grow, only an hour to London on the train but with a diverse music scene of its own. The creative and experiment scene of Brighton can be seen as one of the causes of Fickle Friends’ alt-pop sound which takes elements from 80s synth pop with a groovy indie edge and some fantastic pop hooks. This 80s inspired sound is one which has seen mainstream pop success in recent years with Taylor Swift’s album 1989 and Katy Perry’s smash hit single This Is How We Do along with many others bringing 80s synth pop back to the masses. These influences have also found success on the indie scene with bands like Bleachers, Borns and The Wombats and this is a trend modern pop music critics are screaming for more of, following the recent shift away from this style. This means Fickle Friends are in a fantastic position to garner both mainstream and indie success, as well as to produce an album which is a critical darling.
While it is too early to say whether their album You Are Someone Else will be a hit based on the singles and EPs they have released since their inception their debut album is going to be groovy and fun filled with baselines which you can’t help getting down to. Surely ingredients which will make it a bonafide hit. On top of this they stand out in the current pop mainstream due to their killer live performances which many claim is the catalyst of their rise. In an age of music produced on a computer and significant over use of trap percussion and other inorganic music it is pleasing to see a band whose music developed organically from jam sessions and constantly tweaking songs to get the best reaction from a live audience.
A common criticism of modern bands and artists is that they lack identity, trying to replicate the work of others without anything of their own to offer. While the influences on Fickle Friends are apparent it is their personality and lead singer Natti Shiner’s truth which makes Fickle Friends more than just an indie band with 80s pop influences. Their lyrics aren’t revolutionary, primarily being inspired by romantic endeavours and heartbreak, but they have an honest feel to them which provides an easy platform for emotional engagement with the band. Their fashion is also on point. The band can commonly be seen rocking their vintage garms to match their vintage song. This keen sense of fashion also provides significant indie cred for a band who are clearly not dressed by their label to suit a particular style, but instead define themselves with their cloths as well as their music.
If you’re new to Fickle Friends then the top track I’d recommend tracks Glue, Swim and new single Hard to be Yourself as the perfect entrance point to get into their music, and if you want a ticket to see these guys and get ahead of the musical trend they are playing at The Globe on Monday, 26th February 2018. Hope to see you there.