When adversity strikes – in this case, the monstrous misery of lockdown – you have two choices: wallow in self-pity or fight back with everything you’ve got. The latter was the only option for FICKLE FRIENDS, who bunkered down, explored the tumultuous emotions and experiences around them, and wrote a new album that glows with defiance, catharsis, hope and a fervent belief in better times ahead. Now the Brighton quartet today unveil that album, the uplifting, full-throttle energy of ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’. Listen HERE.
FICKLE FRIENDS previewed the album with an array of singles which have already received over 10 million streams. The likes of ‘Pretty Great’, ‘IRL’ and the recent ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ were unleashed to critical acclaim, which was boosted with key airplay at Radio 1 (Jack Saunders and Clara Amfo) and 6 Music (Lauren Laverne), plus numerous international playlists.
The follow-up to their Top 10 debut album, ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ presents a variety of essential new tracks for fans to lose themselves within. It’s a record which sees the band voyage beyond their indie-pop roots, as they bounce into frenetic funk with emo attitude (‘Not Okay’ and ‘Glow’), subvert alt-pop with punk energy (‘Write Me A Song’), and deliver immediately addictive synth-pop (‘Listen’).
While the album’s often euphoric sound counterpoints it’s often darker themes, FICKLE FRIENDS end on a calmer and more reflective note with the title track. Set primarily to piano before electronic elements and strings layer up the sound, Natti Shiner’s vocal is unafraid to express the anguish and uncertainty of a troubled time in her life. But by the time she signs off by singing “Are we gonna be alright?”, it is evident that FICKLE FRIENDS are all the stronger for the challenges that they’ve overcome.
Natti Shiner says, “We wrote three separate songs with the title “Are We Gonna Be Alright”…it was the final attempt (approximately 2 weeks before album delivery) that finally felt right. We invited some friends down to Shoreham for a few days just to write music with no rules and no plan for who they were for. This song came out of that camp and it just felt like the perfect finale for our record. This song will always remind me of those few magical days and officially “handing in” our album”.
The streaming and CD formats of ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ feature an additional 12-track compilation. It features both seasons of their ‘Weird Years’ EPs, along with the stand alone singles ‘Amateurs’ and ‘Eats Me Up’, plus an acoustic version of ‘Amateurs’.
Signed physical formats of the album are available from FICKLE FRIENDS’ official store, with formats including clear red and standard black vinyl, CD and cassette out in April. A selection of bundles also include new merch designs.
FICKLE FRIENDS commenced their current UK headline tour last night with a homecoming show in Brighton. The tour continues through to the end of the month when it concludes with a London show at the Scala on January 27th. Tickets for the remaining dates, listed below, are available here:
13th – Brighton, Chalk
14th – Birmingham, Castle & Falcon
15th – Newcastle, The Cluny 2
18th – Manchester, Academy 3
20th – Nottingham, Bodega
22nd – Norwich, The Waterfront
24th – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
25th – Bristol, Thekla
27th – London, Scala
‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ tracklist:
1. ‘Love You To Death’
2. ‘Not Okay’
3. ‘Write Me A Song’
6. ‘Pretty Great’
7. ‘Load On Your Mind’
8. ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’
11. ‘Won’t Hurt Myself’
12. ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’