Single Review: Fickle Friends – Cry Baby

By on Tuesday, 16th August 2016 at 12:00 pm

There’s been a parting in the road between mainstream Busted-style pop and more thoughtful, alternative pop-based music in recent years. There’s nothing wrong with the mainstream (I, for one, will never not be able to sing along to ‘What I Go to School For’), but it’s just great to see that there are those bands for whom pop means more than repeating the same three of four chords over and over. Pop always used to be about doing something different and exciting. I’ll always remember how I felt and where I was the first time I heard Michael Jackson, or how my world turned upside down (in a good way) when I first became aware of the two game-changing individuals that we said our goodbyes to earlier this year, Bowie and Prince. Whether I’m listening to Beyoncé, Christine and the Queens or, dare I say it, Justin Bieber, I can’t remember pop being better.

Today’s subject is Fickle Friends, the indie pop quartet that hail from Brighton who have recently shared their latest single ‘Cry Baby’. Although they are now signed to a major, Polydor Records, they haven’t had the easiest road to get here, including having a manager quit on them and dealing with financial struggles. But on ‘Cry Baby’, it looks like the band have finally found stable ground. They’ve teamed up with Mike Crossey (The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club), and will also be working with him to put together their debut album in Los Angeles.

Like Fickle Friends’ previous singles ‘Swim’ and ‘Say No More’, ‘Cry Baby’ taps into the well of ‘80s influence, with synth bursts, funky bass hooks and an addictive chorus. It’s not however, simply a rip-off of ‘80s tropes. ‘Cry Baby’ takes all that is good about old-school electropop and blends it with contemporary sounds; at times you can hear The 1975-esque drum and guitar elements on the track.

‘Cry Baby’ positively pulsates with feel-good vibes about meeting someone for only a brief period of time and the overwhelming emotions that can accompany it, capturing the plot of every good ‘80s film ever. The track shimmers and dances, the opening hammer of synth bursts and the steady bass hook sets an addictive precedent that the rest of the track manages to uphold throughout. If this single is anything to go by, I’m expecting their debut album to be liberally packed with addictive synthpop and feel-good ‘80s grooves. It doesn’t yet have a release date, so keep your eyes peeled.


‘Cry Baby’ is out now. If you want to see the band live in action, the band will be at Reading and Leeds 2016 at the end of this month and Bestival 2016 next month. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Fickle Friends, go here.


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