Bongo’s Bingo is back in Brum with a string of messy nights of bingo, dancing and singalongs lined up over April and May. Redbrick went along to the first event on April 14th to see what all the fuss is about.Written by Joseph Timan on 20th April 2018
Album Review: Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else
Sorcha Hornett enjoys a debut from Brighton pop gems Fickle Friends, a record sure to worm its way into your summer playlists
Fickle Friends have finally released their long-awaited album. The five-piece indie band from Brighton have previously released two EPs, Velvet in 2015 and last year's Glue, along with other stand-alone singles to keep us entertained, but now we finally have a full-length. The indie-pop band are known for their electronic-infused catchy singles and have already performed over 500 shows in their five-year career span, they’ve had over 40 million streams on Spotify and now have a growing legion of fans across the globe. After five years of perfecting their sound they have delivered to us a sixteen-song record that tackles universal topics such as toxic relationships and mental health issues.
The album kicks off with ‘Wake Me Up’, the final song that was written for the album and one about wanting a relationship to work so bad but knowing deep down that it isn’t going anywhere. It’s full of catchy synthetic beats and luminous vocals, a perfect song that encapsulates the band’s sound. It will definitely make you want to dance – along with so many other singles on the album. It’s the perfect opener for the album. This seamlessly moves into ‘Glue’, a song that has been in every playlist of mine for a while now. It’s seems like something straight from a 70s summer and is the perfect song to put you in a good mood. Every song on the album is so different, yet they are all catchy and compliment each other perfectly.
‘Swim’ is from their earlier work and has a more hard-hitting rhythm with its gauzy electronics and scattered beats but is still just as wonderful as when Fickle Friends first released it back in 2014. This is followed by the completely new ‘Bite’. When I first heard this, I have to admit I didn’t like it. I was put off by the initial high vocals that seemed out of place with the more rock-style beat. It mixes 80s pop sound with that modern club-style we are all accustomed too and is an extremely combination I can’t admit truly works, I’m still trying to make myself like it because the vocals are effortless in it. Yet, compared with other tracks like ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Glue’, it falls a little flat. Following this is ‘Hard To Be Myself’, an open admission that partying can open up a new side to introverts, as she sings 'It’s hard to be myself / So just tonight / What the fuck, yeah' but fully restores my faith in this album. It recreates the house-party atmosphere that it is trying to endorse and is the perfect summer anthem.
“It breathes English Summer in a dream-like way
‘Lovesick’, despite the up-tempo backing track, is about losing someone you love. This follows into the next track ‘Heartbroken’ - both are extremely up-beat and would be amazing live as they both have great catchy synth beats, but make being heartbroken seem like a party. ‘Say No More’ breaks up these two tracks and is one of the band’s favourites to play live, probably due to how optimistic it is and the way it showcases Natassja Shiner’s incredible vocals. The shortest track on the album, ‘In My Head’ follows this and marks the middle point of the record. It breathes English Summer in a dream-like way and is one of the mellowest tracks on the album, showcasing a completely different sound from what we have heard so far.
This is picked right back up by ‘Rotation’ which showcases the intense synth-filled and catchy hooks we know the band for. However, this song is fairly repetitive and unremarkable compared to other tracks – it remains firmly in the background. ‘Hello Hello’, however, remains one of the best singles the band ever released: it’s catchy and puts me in a good mood instantly. Among the final five tracks of the album, ‘Brooklyn’ has more of a pop sound but has the perfect mixture of guitar riffs, simple drum beats and Fickle Friends' electronic sound. This track is where the title of the album comes, and I can see why - it’s one of my favourites of their new material. Penultimate track ‘She’ has a high-energy electronica influence and highlight Shiner’s sweet and effortless vocals, along with that it’s incredibly catchy and is one of the most unique sounding tracks on the album.
“Their songs are the epitome of indie-pop, with an injection of modernism and electronica
The album was highly anticipated, and its release leaves me seeing why. This is the first album in what I predict will be a long and successful career. Fickle Friends sing about a range of different topics but never fail to make us dance, even when it’s about heartbreak, and that’s why I love them. Their songs are the epitome of indie-pop, with an injection of modernism and electronica. I am absolutely positive they will be your new not-so-guilty pleasure this summer; they are the perfect band to dance to on those hazy summer nights.
Fickle Friends play the O2 Academy, Birmingham on 26th October.