Get up close and personal with the debut from Fickle Friends.
This is going to come as a shock to you, dear reader. Here at Dork, we kinda like Fickle Friends. They're okay, right? The album's fine? The bangers are... well, y'know.
Yes alright, we're big ol' fans - 'You Are Someone Else' is a 5* album any day of the week, and their lovely mugs also grace the cover of Dork's latest issue (which you can order below, 'FYI').
We've accosted Natti once again for yet more insight into one of our fave records of the year so far, and she's obliged with this handy track by track guide - so clear your afternoon, plug in, and enjoy.
WAKE ME UP
We loved writing this song. It seemed to fall into place so easily and was our last effort for the record. I think I’d watched something on TV that just sparked the lyrical idea of people doing everything they can to make a relationship work because they love that other person…but they know deep down that it needs to end for the good of them both. Sometimes acceptance is the hardest thing.
Something a little more light-hearted I suppose. How three drinks can help you fall in love at first sight, and sometimes you feel all you need is that quick fling to fill a lonely void… but does it really make you feel better in the long run? Maybe not. The day we wrote this our Publisher came to Brighton and we were so psyched by it we dragged him to Wilsons bedroom to play a very rough version of the chorus. He seemed equally excited tbh.
We were in Wilsons basement room, and I’d just spent that terms dollop of student loan on a Roland Juno. We were listening to 'Chocolate' - The 1975, 'Ain’t It Fun' - Paramore and some random Rihanna track. Taking a little vibe from all of those we wrote 'SWIM'. It was 2013, haha. The song is about childhood sweethearts growing up and the relationship growing complicated as adolescent life does also.
We started writing this in the van on our way to some German music festival. Wilson had this sick beat with all these mad midi synth sounds which were like nothing we’d done before. When we got to America for our second or third recording trip, we finished this song upstairs in a writing room. We smashed out so much that trip including 'Rotation', 'Useless' and 'Vanilla' (from our 'Glue' EP).
HARD TO BE MYSELF
I think we have about 50 versions of this song. We drove ourselves close to madness with this. We could never write the chorus. The verse has this sweet flow that wouldn’t go anywhere else. In the end, we had to settle on something (it had been about a year at this point). The song is about social anxiety and wanting to be in literally ANYONE else’s shoes in that moment.
It’s all about that baseline really. The song used to be called 'Real' and I was obsessed with it, however, everyone felt the chorus wasn’t much of a chorus. So (classic Fickle Friends) we tried about another five different takes on the chorus and never fell in love with any of them. We even went to Ireland and wrote one with Wayne Hector (Google him, he’s a legend). But anyway… we ended up going back to that original baseline and sprucing it. Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut and do what YOU want.
SAY NO MORE
Written in Wilson's mum's garage like four years ago… I really don't remember the process of this one… I just know it came together quickly and we thought we’d written something great. Lyrically a bit all over the place but essentially it’s about taking a step back to see the bigger picture, listening with a fresh set of ears, changing your surroundings, so you see your situation more clearly. “Everything is so in focus, living away.”
One of the newer songs which we produced ourselves - it’s just a bit of a stressy, frustration fuelled ditty about mixed messages from the music industry… I think other musicians can relate.
IN MY HEAD
Wrote this on our first trip to the States. We all felt a bit homesick, and it was a weird, lonely feeling having just fallen in love with someone back home and not being in the same time zone and missing each other's calls. It made me start over thinking everything like, do I deserve him because I’ve ditched him for a career trip? Does he deserve this so early on into the relationship?
Harry just started messing around with this pitchfork pedal upstairs at Mike Crossey's studio. This is another tune we wrote in that very poorly ventilated writing room in Woodland Hills CA. Wilson recorded himself tapping the table top along with the guitar riff, and that was basically the whole song, ha. It’s about that friend who everyone seems to have who only calls on you when they need something, and you let them manipulate you and it's just this endless cycle.
When we finished playing SXSW a couple of years ago now (wow does time fly), Harry, Wilson and I went and set up a home studio in a little Airbnb in East Hollywood. We had a few writing sessions lined up, the first of which was a dude who rocked up late and hungover. He was all “can we go for a walk and get some fresh air”, but we were ready to work and had already started a cool idea. Anyway we managed to get rid of him as soon as his hangover hunger kicked in and we still have an iPhone voice note of is writing 'Hello Hello', and it’s 28 minutes long. Practically burst out of us.
An oldie, ha. Our first attempt at writing a “slowy”. Our manager at the time said we needed one to break up the party tunes… which was a fair point. It’s about wanting to be treated right and made complete by someone… and if they don’t do so (e.g. if they don’t buy you all the things girls want from Paris… materialistic, I know) then you’ll leave and find someone better, basically.
I’ve talked about this a lot because it’s about dealing with anxiety. I looked at it like it was a foreign place I’d never been to…and how that can be slightly disorienting and confusing. The "You are someone else" line, which is also the title of the album, of course, is something I would think to myself when I was having an anxious moment or panic attack. I felt like I didn’t recognise myself anymore. I remember having the best time recording this with Mike Crossey in LA. It was our first session with him, and it felt so new and exciting!
I love this song. I used to be a little demo called “Hiya”, and I remember being so chuffed with it but Wilson was like ‘meh it’s ok’. We put a pin in it for like a year or so… honestly AGES and then re-opened the project when we were experiencing a bit of writer's block. It ended up turning into this kinda big 80s ballad which was cool. We spent practically a whole day picking out bass synth sounds when we were recording it with Mike.
This was another song we threw on the back burner for about two years. When that One Direction song ripped off Tears For Fears ('Everybody Wants To Rule The World'), we thought we’d give it a go too, haha. We loved this song and actually had it in our live set for a bit of 2015. The demo was pretty un-energetic, and no-one seemed to respond much to it live… until we pulled it out as a last minute addition to the album. We went back to see our good old pal Charlie Hugall (awesome producer) and spruced up the song in classic FF fashion. We tracked new vocals with Andy Hall Hall (also excellent producer… did a bunch of vocals for us on this record) and yeh…would you believe it She made the album. Bit of a dark horse.
And last but not least… one of my personal favourites. This came out of a writing trip we did in 2016 where we also wrote Cry Baby and Sugar. We had hit a wall and all separately gone for walks in the countryside to try and spark some fresh ideas. When we got back, Sam was playing this samba beat on the drums, and it was super dope, so we tracked it in quickly (The original recording of those drums is at the start of the song). Harry then just started playing this SICK super dark baseline, and I riffed a melody over the top, and we had it. The song wrote itself ha. Funnily enough, we wrote an alternative chorus for it with Ed Macfarlane from Friendly Fires when we were messing with it for a bit. That guy is the best!
Fickle Friends’ album ‘You Are Someone Else’ is out now.