#4: FICKLE FRIENDS

Fickle Friends have had rather a good year. No only are they appearing at the top of many people’s end-of-year “ones to watch” lists right now, US charting company Billboard has tipped them for big things in America, and they’ve grabbed a coveted spot on January’s BBC Introducing club night. Not to mention being endorsed by that well-known new music guru Jamie Oliver. And now, most impressive of all, a nod from your favourite tipping network. They must be doing something right.

That thing is primarily their January 2014 single ‘Swim’: an upbeat, blissed-out slice of indie-pop, the musical equivalent of a sunny afternoon on the beach in their native Brighton. Awash with synth stabs, melodic lead guitar lines, and a softly-spoken female lead vocal, ‘Swim’ neatly summarises the state of the art of bands playing pop music in 2014. The song’s well over half a million streams on Spotify suggests that their audience agree.

Their other two singles, ‘For You’ and ‘Play’, tread a similar path: two fluffy, uplifting, melodic vignettes of danceable, airy pop. It’s pretty lightweight stuff, but it’s worked to prick up the ears of the blogosphere. Tellingly, ‘For You’s video is an irony-free story of a young couple in the first throes of a relationship – they walk down sun-dappled footpaths, climb over a locked gate, huddle beside a brazier in a twilit quarry, get chased by security. Which makes it pretty clear who their target demographic is: those lucky souls yet to become jaded and cynical by the dating game, and who can still lose themselves in the romance of it all. Enjoy it while it lasts, guys!

There’s no doubt that Fickle Friends have hit on a sound that is exactly right for their time: one that carries the kudos of an independent band, but would still sit perfectly on the Radio 1 A-list. Don’t be surprised to hear their music all over your wireless in 2015.

Words by Martin Sharman & Tipped by Adam from Alphabet Bands & Simon from Sentric Music

Fickle Friends were originally featured back in January with words by Neil Wood

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