New Noise: Fickle Friends

It’s time for some disco, honey-coated Indie-pop tunes courtesy of Fickle Friends.

This 5-piece group from Brighton are pumping out disco-tinged, incandescent indie-pop tracks to the delight of ears everywhere. Funky fresh and summery sweet, their newest single “Cry Baby” is enough to make John Waters proud. The track sounds straight out of an 80s movie, with a colourful melody and electro beats, it’ll make you want to bop uncontrollably.

The track is a follow-up to their April release “Swim”, which was their first official single after signing to Polydor. The group previously spent two years on the road, playing shows across Europe, making their mark in the festival scene before being snapped up by Polydor. But fame certainly hasn’t gone to their heads, as the group stay true to their touring roots and will be playing a headline show at London’s Heaven in November, following whats set to be a super special performance at Bestival this September.

In the process of creating “Cry Baby”, the quintet were lucky enough to fly out to LA to work with producer Mike Crossey, who has worked with big names such as Foals and The 1975. Being huge fans of the producer, it is no exaggeration to say that they were more than ecstatic. To give us a little bit more insight into the inspiration behind “Cry Baby”, Fickle Friends frontwoman Natti Shiner says, “I watched the John Waters film on New Year’s Day with someone I’d just started hanging out with and the title Cry Baby definitely triggered something in me. As quite a cynical person I’m often very quick to question both my own and other people’s capacity to feel…emotion…anything and that’s what ‘Cry Baby’ is about really. That and the fact I found it quite odd to miss someone I’d only just met.”

What’s the story behind the name Fickle Friends?

It was something my buddy wanted to call our fictitious DJ duo back when I was known for bailing on plans…that idea never actually came to fruition but I stole the name for the band. Hopefully he’s not going to read this and claim royalties ha…

How would you describe your sound to us?

Fruity indie pop you can boogie to.

How did you all meet and what made you decide to go into music together?

We all met between two universities. I moved to Brighton, wanted to start a band and tried to grab the best people I knew (which isn’t easy at music school because everybody else is doing the same). We got lucky and just seemed to click but it took a good year and a half to get our shit together and write some material that didn’t sound like a confused Two Door Cinema Club.

How was it working with Mike Crossey in LA? How did that come about?

We’ve done two sessions out of three so we’re going back in October…but so far it’s been pretty surreal. Kinda challenging in many ways too as it’s our first record and we’ve never really let any one else into our world creatively but Mike surprises us with new mad ideas and it’s become a really good relationship – he pushes us hard both in tracking and writing. It’s gunna be a surprising record I think, in a good way. It all came about simply because we’re huge fans of his work. Our A&R asked us point blank “who do you want to produce your album” and there was no question. It HAD to be Mike.

If you could collaborate with any artist in the future, who would it be and why?

Tough question. Maybe Drake. Yeah Drake….could we have session with Drake and Justin Vernon? I know that’s two artists but it would be so badass.

If ‘Cry Baby’ was in the soundtrack of a movie, which movie would it be?

Errrm……Cry Baby. That too obvious? I love to picture it in True Romance. Some iconic 80s film. I’m still secretly hoping they do that whole ‘re scoring’ the Drive soundtrack again and we’ll be asked to write a deliciously intense, emotional, epic synth ballad. These are just things I day dream about.

How did you get signed to Polydor? Has it changed everything and has it opened more doors?

We got the industry a lil interested when we released SWIM a few years back but we kinda fluffed it by playing a show a week after it went mad online and we weren’t ready for it. I think all the labels were like “nahhhhh what’s this shambles” and left us to it. We got a booking agent off the back of that show and have been touring ever since. We built a fan base organically, touring the UK and across Europe in a glorified family car. It was really rewarding and at times very difficult (and slightly humiliating) but it paid off in the end. We eventually sold out London Dingwalls unsigned and unmanaged. Polydor was always the label we talked about but the few meetings we had were always unrequited. That changed when we met our A&R, he totally got what we wanted to do and understood the music completely. It’s opened so many doors…firstly there’s an actual PLAN. Plus we can now do this full time and I can tell my dad “I do this music thing professionally as a job like”. I think all the great things are still to come 😉

What’s your favourite thing about performing live? Do you prefer it over studio recording?

I definitely prefer playing live. That’s what it’s all about for me….besides actually writing the music. But there is nothing like the feeling you get connecting with an audience singing about shit you really care about. I’m in some mad world for thirty minutes where I’m a heightened version of myself. It’s a continuation of the creative process too – we’re constantly adding new live elements and changing sections of songs to make everything aesthetically pleasing and energetic. I’m all about making it a real show…almost theatrical…we’ll get there some day – maybe if we headline the pyramid stage or something.

What does the future hold for Fickle Friends?

I wish I bloody knew ha. We’re gunna make an album we’re proud of. Put it out…hopefully people will dig it and we can tour forever and do a bunch of other albums and play the first gig in space.  It’s a question that causes a lot of mind meandering. But in short, we’re going to finish the album and then we’re going to travel around and play it to everyone. Hope that’s cool 😉

Mariah Rosslee
New Noise: Fickle Friends

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