By Tyler Ody
JANUARY 2022 HEADLINE TOUR ALSO ANNOUNCED
Fickle Friends first established their reputation entirely independently, touring extensively throughout the UK and Europe before hitting the Top 10 with their major label debut album ‘You Are Someone Else’. Over the course of the last 18 months, they’ve returned to their DIY roots and broadened the scope of their sound with two seasons of the ‘Weird Years’ EP series. It earned the band widespread critical acclaim as they exceeded 120 million career streams.
Now Fickle Friends are set to embark upon a huge reintroduction as they share their exhilarating new single ‘Love You To Death.’ It can be listened to here: https://ffriends.lnk.to/AWGBAPR
It’s the first track to preview their upcoming second album ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’, which will be released on January 14. In addition, the band also announce details of their first full headline tour in over two years. First comes an intimate album teaser show at The Sebright Arms this Friday 10 September, which sold-out immediately.
‘Love You To Death’ is a huge statement of intent for Fickle Friends’ second album. A natural modern evolution of the ‘80s sounds that they touched upon in ‘Weird Years’, it’s first-rate, fun-fuelled funk that’s full of flavours that echo Prince - all the while keeping the killer hooks that infused the band’s original indie-pop sound. What’s more it gives every Friend the chance to shine. Natti Shiner’s vocals are alive with confidence and charisma; punchy, choppy guitars from Jack Wilson heighten the Prince / Nile Rodgers energy; and Jack Herrington and Sam Morris bring the tight, insistent rhythms.
Natti Shiner says, “‘Love You To Death is just pure fun. It was so sick to explore this new Prince-esque side of Fickle Friends. The music is so simple and it gave us a lot of space to go a little crazy with the guitar shredding and backing vocals. I think every family member and their neighbour sings on this! It’s a song about loving someone so much you might actually kill them. I’m pretty amazed by just how much I can feel sometimes, like it’s quite overwhelming a lot of the time. That’s where this song comes from.”
‘Love You To Death’ was written by Fickle Friends with Jack Shepherd and was produced by the band’s guitarist Jack WIlson.
The rest of ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ matches the standard set by ‘Love You To Death’. ‘Not Okay’ does the unexpected in style, unpredictably leaping from hard-hitting beats to a downbeat croon in the blink of an eye. By contrast, ‘Alone’ is rousing, maximalist alt-pop - a pure-hearted celebration of being back with everyone who matters to you and getting lost in the moment. ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ thrills with its visceral and angsty electro-punk, while three established fan favourites - ‘Pretty Great’, ‘IRL’ and ‘Won’t Hurt Myself’ - complement the set.
By the time Fickle Friends end with a rare slowburner with the title track, the ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ album proves that they’ve exceeded all expectations. It’s especially remarkable given that the album tells stories of the band’s experiences over the past two years: from break-ups, sanity-questioning levels of anxiety, and the frustration of lockdowns, to the unadorned joy and celebration of being back together as a band again.
Natti adds, “Making this album helped us weather the storm of the last year. It held us together in a time of uncertainty. It gave us purpose when we felt forgotten. When (actual) therapy failed, these songs served as a way to process grief, depression, everything we go through as the anxiously minded creative people we are. This record has been a massive moment of growth for us and I hope you can hear that in the nuances of each song. We are truly excited to share it with the world.”
‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ is available to pre-order here, with ‘Love You To Death’, ‘Pretty Great’, ‘IRL’ and ‘Won’t Hurt Myself’ all provided as an instant download. The band’s official store offers exclusive signed bundles including CD, coloured vinyl, cassette and a bonus CD. There will be a selection of vinyl variants exclusive to specific retailers, as well as download and streaming formats.
Fickle Friends’ January 2022 headline tour opens with a homecoming show at CHALK in Brighton and culminates with a major London date at Electric Brixton. Tickets can be purchased HERE. The band’s previous live highlights have included sold-out London headline shows at the O2 Kentish Town Forum and the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, playing to rammed tents at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, and performing at the gargantuan Alexandra Palace as guests to The Kooks.
‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ tracklist:
TOUR DATES - JANUARY 2022
13th - Brighton, Chalk
14th - Birmingham, O2 Academy
15th - Newcastle, University (basement)
17th - Glasgow, SWG3
18th - Manchester, Club Academy
20th - Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
21st - Cambridge, Junction
22nd - Norwich, The Waterfront
24th - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
25th - Bristol, Thekla
27th - London, Electric Brixton