Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Fickle Friends overcome the curse of the tricky second season on “Weird Years: Season 2”

In September 2020, Brighton quartet Fickle Friends announced that the structure for their second studio album ‘Weird Years’ would consist first of two EPs, to be later constructed into a full album project. This was a risky move for the album that would follow 2018’s ‘You Are Someone Elsethe band's critically acclaimed debut.

The release of Weird Years: Season 2’ on May 7th is proof that the risk paid off. Back in January, we got some musical development on ‘Weird Years: Season 1’ but were left wanting more. Perhaps there’s a chance we’ll get it with ‘Season 2’,  a second album full of festival-ready singles.


Fickle Friends have said they plan to maintain their spark while introducing fresh elements that bring new ideas to a familiar setting. With ‘Season 2’ we feel that spark freshened up with new sounds, particularly on the first single ‘Not in the Mood’. The track has been a hit, yielding regular radio time from Annie Mac and garnering huge success on streaming platforms. Vocalist Natassja Shiner pierces the track with a strong vocal, telling the story of an imbalanced relationship, and the effects of these inferior feelings mixed with love. This is an upbeat track reminiscent of The 1975’s debut album, but entwined with damning lyrics like the opening line: “I’m in my bedroom/waiting for something/something I know isn’t good for me”.


The second track ‘Turns Me Bad’ centralises the EP’s constant theme of growing up. A collaboration with Nashville alternative-pop band Nightly, the song is full of melody but is far from relaxing, as lyrics discuss the vanity of ignoring relationship red flags. It’s pop-ish in a Katy Perry-esque way, which fits perfectly with its youthful feel and lyrics like:“drinking from tins in the moonlight”.

The next chapter in this story is track three ‘Cosmic Coming of Age’. This second single has had huge commercial success and sounds grown-up for Fickle Friends. With a deep and powerful bass sound from Harry Herrington and a steady drumbeat from Sam Morris, the scene is set for storytelling. The story told is one of Saturn’s Return, a time people go through (usually in their 20s) where they work out who they are and what they plan to do with their lives, which Shiner described as “the transitional period in life where everything seems to fall apart”.


The final track is ‘Won’t Hurt Myself’, the new single from the EP. This standout track closes with drama, building up with gorgeous keyboards from Jack Wilson and transcendent beats. This bursts into a synth-filled rebellion with a guitar that could’ve been borrowed from The Killers’ ‘Day and Age’. Shiner repeats: “I won’t hurt myself the way you want me to/and give away my heart just like I always do”, and it feels like she’s hit huge milestones of self-development and self-awareness. The whole process has been recorded to help us through the same.

As Fickle Friend’s look forward to a long-awaited return to live performances (the first show is scheduled at Tramlines festival on July 25th), the ‘Weird Years’ concept is set to evolve. 

This makes it an extremely exciting time to be a Fickle Friends fan.


Daisy Fitzgerald 


Image Credit: Fickle Friends official artwork

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