#Review: Against The Current – Past Lives ūüĎĀ


   

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Against The Current are¬†an American¬†pop rock¬†band from¬†New York, who formed in 2011. The band is made up of Chrissy Costanza (lead vocals), Dan Gow (guitars)¬†and Will Ferri (drums). The band are notable for regularly posting covers on YouTube as well as delighting fans with original tracks too. In 2016, after signing to¬†Fueled By Ramen, the band released their debut album, In Our Bones. Now, 2018 sees the band releasing their second full-length record,¬†Past Lives. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Against The Current - Past Lives.jpg

This stunningly diverse and charming record opens with the almost haunting ‘Strangers Again’, dealing with getting over a relationship and cutting ties. The guitar line is dreamy and the vocal breakdown towards the end is a rather quiet and personal moment that really draws you in. It’s a brilliant way to open a record; it doesn’t go in all guns blazing but instead captivates the audience with its beautiful soundscapes.

Next is probably the best track on record, ‘The Fuss’. With Daft Punk-esque, 80s synths, funky guitar rhythms and one hell of a catchy chorus, this is a track you will just want to play really loud and dance like mad to!

Other significant songs include: ‘I Like The Way’ – a track all about new love that almost reaches EDM territory with its strong piano line. It’s something you might expect from the likes of Sigala‘s¬†Easy Love or¬†Sweet Lovin’; ‘Voices’ is a slightly more grungy offering about being self-conflicted and trying to ignore the internal voices (which is reflected perfectly with whispering backing vocals) – it’s very¬†Paramore¬†meets¬†Fickle Friends,¬†whilst¬†‘Scream’ is a rather floaty and dreamy song – for some reason it evokes images of the perfect all-American family from the 1960s (no idea why!) It’s an uplifting yet subtle track; I keep finding myself going back for more.

‘Personal’ has a Taylor Swift-like quality to it and the production is incredible – the vocal harmonies sit beneath the rest of the production in the chorus, but it’s truly enchanting.¬†‘P.A.T.T.’ (short for Pretty All The Time)¬†is an out and out female empowerment anthem – it’s fast-paced, punchy and relatively simplistic but the message is fun and powerful about girls feeling like they should be allowed to be themselves without having to look “pretty all the time”…calling all, “Girls!”

It’s an impeccably well-crafted record which has very successfully merged the boundaries between dance, pop and rock music, with a sprinkling of 80s vibes on top.

Lastly,¬†‘Friendly Reminder’ is another notable song, it’s certainly an album track rather than a potential single but the use of a phaser effect on the vocals and an epic clap-along chorus towards the end make it really stand out…again, there’s a big 80s vibe to it.

What Against The Current manage to do so well throughout, is take you on a journey with them; when they’re soaring high, you’ll feel all the sparks of excitement with them brought about with big synth sounds, intense beats and tons of reverb but equally when melancholy reigns, you’ll feel their heartache too.

Whilst I could say something about every track on the record, I won’t – you just need to experience it for yourself.¬†I really can’t recommend this highly enough…the only reason it didn’t get a 5 is because there are one or two less stand-out, album-fillers but even those are pretty damn good. It is very much an album which marks a band that have found their feet; they’ve created something wonderfully catchy yet utterly credible with sincere lyricism, interesting melodies and top-notch production.

It’s an impeccably well-crafted record which has very successfully merged the boundaries between dance, pop and rock music, with a sprinkling of 80s vibes on top; it’s difficult to pigeonhole this band…in a good way! It’s a truly exciting time for the band; this will certainly make waves in the genre and undoubtedly pave an exciting path for their future!

Rating
4-5


‘Past Lives’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/past-lives/1425108766


Past Lives on Spotify

Almost Forgot (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s sophomore release, Past Lives? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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#EventSpeaks: Fickle Friends @ Resident Records, Brighton – 19/03/18


   

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On Monday 19th March 2018, Brighton-based indie/pop outfit, Fickle Friends, came to Brighton in support of their debut album release (You Are Someone Else review, here), to play two shows; one stripped-back, short set and album signing at Resident Records and the other a full-on, full-length set at Concorde 2, later that same night!


Fickle Friends

The Resident Records set was short but very, very sweet!

The indie/pop quintet had been mingling in the store for a while before modestly starting their mini set, at 6:30pm.

As they began, Natti explained just how nervous she was, given how stripped back the performance was going to be. However, the band soon proceeded to launch into their alternative version of ‘Brooklyn’, led by rather cheesy yet somehow adorable, programmed drums.

As the set progressed, there was some instrument swapping and a real admiration for their fans’ support. Natti also explained that today marked some milestone achievements for Fickle Friends; 1) an in-store performance and signing at Resident Records and 2) to play a sold-out show at Brighton’s Concorde 2, which she went on to state, was perfect timing, as she’d just moved out of Brighton and felt that it was a very fitting send-off.

This type of performance was truly special and demonstrated the band giving something back to their loyal and dedicated fans. Plus, as they finished, they announced that it was looking like they were heading for the Top 10 in the UK Charts and could not have been more ecstatic about it.

Immediately afterwards, the band stood behind the shop counter and allowed their fans to get their CDs and Vinyls signed, and spent time chatting to each of them; it was really lovely to see.

Highlights:

  • Seeing just how humble and modest the band were.
  • The appreciation they showed for their fans not only being their but supporting them by purchasing their album, plus the time they took to talk to each of their fans, whilst signing copies of their album, You Are Someone Else.
  • Natti‘s incredible voice and being a part of witnessing the band put on such a vulnerable but perfect performance, given how full-on their sound normally is.
  • The alternative versions they performed, made it feel very unique and like it was a truly one-off performance.

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¬†ūüďłÔŅľ All of the photos in this post (except me with the band) are credited to Chloe CZH ÔŅľūüď∑
Go and give her a follow on Twitter and visit her website.


Setlist

Brooklyn
Wake Me Up
Glue*
Hard To Be Myself
Swim

* This song can be viewed in the YouTube video, below.


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Simon Neal for setting up this review and to Fickle Friends themselves for putting on a fantastic mini show and being so lovely to all of their fans Рa really fantastic, intimate performance!


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#Review: Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else


   

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Fickle Friends are a Brighton-based, indie-pop band who have gone from strength to strength, since their humble beginnings. Now signed to Polydor, they are releasing their long awaited, debut album, You Are Someone Else. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Fickle Friends - You Are Someone Else.jpg

It’s been a long time coming, but Fickle Friends have finally released their eagerly anticipated, debut album and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! This is an album packed to bursting point with catchy choruses, groovy guitar licks and salacious synth sounds.

The record opens with the darkly addictive and super chant-able,¬†Wake Me Up’ and manages to maintain momentum throughout, whether it be the huge pop anthems like¬†‘Glue’¬†(a personal favourite!) and¬†‘Swim’¬†or the more placid, mellow offerings such as¬†‘In My Head. This is an incredibly diverse album that has a little something for everyone, yet still manages to come together as a superb collection of hard work, perfectly crafted and super skilled songwriting. It is also nice to see that the band haven’t followed the current trend of putting out a standard 10-track album, with a special deluxe edition, but instead have just the one version with a very decent, 16 tracks.

There are strong resemblances with the likes of¬†The 1975 (on¬†‘Say No More’ and¬†‘Bite’),¬†MUNA¬†(on¬†‘Hard To Be Myself’ and¬†‘In My Head’),¬†Shura (as with¬†‘Hello Hello’)¬†and¬†Rae Morris (on¬†‘Swim’) and it would certainly fit well with fans of theirs, but could equally find a place in any trendy, pop or indie-lover’s music collection too!

This is an album packed to bursting point with catchy choruses, groovy guitar licks and salacious synth sounds.

One thing is for certain, the band have managed to produce a fantastic sound that is both contemporary, modern pop yet strongly 80s tinted at the same time; something which is even reflected in their music video imagery and album artwork.

Although the sound throughout is fun and uplifting, that is contrary to the deeply personal lyricism, which finds singer,¬†Natti Shiner, touching upon topics like self-doubt and anxiety, as can be heard on¬†‘Hard To Be Myself’ or rocky relationships, like that of¬†‘Wake Me Up’.

Other songs to take note of include the beautifully soothing¬†‘Paris’, the incredibly pop-tastic,¬†‘Bite’, the incredibly funky¬†‘Lovesick’¬†and the mammoth banger that is¬†‘Glue’. However,¬†‘Rotation’ is the only track I find to be somewhat disappointing; it’s quite repetitive and stands out from the rest of the album (and not in a particularly good way). That’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just not particularly memorable and doesn’t seem to fit nicely amongst the rest of the, otherwise perfect, album.

Fickle Friends¬†have undoubtedly created one heck of a masterpiece; this is not simply shallow, meaningless, throw-away chart hits but rather, relatable pop music with a purpose. The band have made good-quality and fun songs with real depth and meaning, that is definitely going to get stuck in your head. This is sure to be just the beginning for the band. I’m certain this will pave the way for a long and successful career; one which I can’t wait to witness as they continue to grow.

Rating
4.5


‘You Are Someone Else’¬†is out now¬†and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/you-are-someone-else/1312920152


You Are Someone Else on Spotify

Hard To Be Myself (Official Video)

Glue (Official Video)

Brooklyn (Official Video)

Swim (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Brighton-based, Fickle Friends’ debut album, You Are Someone Else! What do you think of it? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#FeelGoodFriday: Fickle Friends – ‘Swim’


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Brighton-based pop outfit,¬†Fickle Friends, have recently released their latest track,¬†‘Swim’ which has already earned Huw Stephens’¬†Tune of the Week¬†and too right!

This pop quintet are brilliant at composing pop masterpieces which have that certain feel-good factor about them – they’re able to make you dance along…willingly or not! That’s got to be the sign of a great, uplifting track!

A lot of the band’s imagery and posts on their social media are of palm trees and good weather in the USA and somehow their songs actually sound like the images – they conjured up those images in my head, before I’d even looked at their page!

What do you think of these guys? Are you already familiar with them? What would you recommend for us on this #FeelGoodFriday? Please share your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Swim’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/swim/id1090209769?i=1090210269


#Playlist: November 2015


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Heidi-hi fellow Speakerz!

What a month! Just this past week, we made our 200th post and we had a special week of re-themed days, including #MentalMonday (Placebo), #TimelessTuesday (Queen), #OneHitWondersday (Daisy Dares You), #ThrillingThursday (Fickle Friends) and #FlashbackFriday (Sugababes).

Sadly, one or two of our interviews are taking slightly longer than we had hoped, but we have a gig review or two in store for you, very shortly!

We hope you have enjoyed our song choices this month and you can find the Spotify and YouTube playlists below!

Please keep sharing our posts and sharing songs with us!


OUR CONTINUED AIM

We’d like to ask you, to go ahead and ‘like’ our¬†Facebook¬†page (www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks) and ‘follow’ us on¬†Twitter¬†(www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks).¬†Then if you could please post a status or send a tweet to your followers and friends to ask them to check us out, we’d be¬†really¬†grateful! We want to grow this community and we honestly can’t do it without¬†your¬†support!

Lastly, please, please respond to our posts on Facebook or leave comments on each of our blog posts with your own tracks for each of the daily themes – we want you to share¬†what you’re listening to because we love music as much as you, and we really enjoy finding out about new tunes. Thanks so much!


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrillingThursday: Fickle Friends – ‘Say No More’


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Today is our 200th post! Happy 200thPostDay to us!

Fickle Friends’¬†track,¬†‘Say No More’ is¬†our chosen song of the day for our special #ThrillingThursday¬†200th post!

Fickle Friends are a new discovery for me, but being a Brighton blog, I thought we should celebrate our milestone post, with a Brighton-based band!

The band consists of members Natti, Sam, Harry, Chris and Wilson and the quintet make no false promises on delivering the perfect blend of New Wave/Indie/Pop and it’s incredible! I honestly can’t get enough of this song – it’s just what I needed to hear today!

What do you think of these guys? I think they’ll go far!

Have you got a different #ThrillingThursday track for us? Please share it in a comment below or via social media with the hash tag, #ThrillingThursday and don’t forget to wish us a Happy 200thPostDay ūüôā

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Say No More’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/say-no-more-single/id1047150179#