I’m not exactly sure how they do it, or what celestial creative energy they’ve tapped into, but rising UK indie-pop stars, Fickle Friends, continue to release one impossibly infectious tune after another, proven most recently by their brand new single “Cosmic Coming of Age.”
Led by Natassja Shiner and Jack Wilson, Fickle Friends has been developing their signature shimmering pop sound since their formation in 2013. But in my opinion, their latest collection of songs is some of their best work to date. Their new project, releasing in two parts under the aptly titled Weird Years (Season 1) and Weird Years (Season 2) (releasing in May), delivers powerful songs about communication, growth, and navigating these strange times.
With each new song I’m constantly left wondering if I’ve ever discovered a band that has so ingeniously perfected the skill of crafting an enrapturing hook, and so effortlessly weaves each composition together with such addicting melodies. Fickle Friends has distinguished themselves as exquisite songwriters and is solidifying their stature as one of the most exciting indie-pop bands to emerge from the UK since The 1975.
Natti was very gracious to answer my questions about “Cosmic Coming of Age”, Weird Years Season 2, yoga, and much more!
Your new single “Cosmic Coming of Age” delivers a powerful message with an optimistic tone. Can you give us some insight into your personal “coming of age” experience and how that inspired this incredible new song?
Sure. So I really did think I had life figured out ha. And then the person I thought was the one…turns out they didn’t think I was. And the pandemic hit, we lost all of our shows and our sense of purpose…my mental health drastically plummeted…I could barely function and felt incredibly lost. But as time went on I started therapy and pursued things I would never have been able to with a busy touring schedule…and very slowly I can feel myself healing. I’m kinda still in a grey area but definitely out of the dark.
You also recently released “Not In The Mood”, the explosive lead single from your upcoming EP – Weird Years Season 2. Can you tell us what thematic and/or sonic differences we can expect on Weird Years Season 2 compared to Weird Years Season 1?
I think it’s a little more raw. Excluding the sugary-ness of NITM. The rest of the EP is definitely darker and more naughties indie rock vibes. I think I started to delve deeper with these songs are they’ve all been written fairly recently. Music has been the only way to release how I’ve been feeling…besides journaling. But I guess they’re kinda become the same thing.
The incredible new music you are releasing is proof that as a band you seem to have navigated the social distancing challenges over the past year exceptionally well. How have you all maintained your creative chemistry during these challenging times?
It’s definitely been hard. Jack and I sometimes exhaust each other’s ideas as it’s just been us two for the whole year or so. We find we always end up doing the same thing and making a less good version of pretty great haha. But somethings we come out with something special so it’s always worth pushing through. I think what’s been important is knowing when to have a break and when to change things up. Sometimes we set ourselves a 30 min challenge where we separately go away and come up with two random ideas…then we come back together and see if there’s a song in any of it.
When did you first start practicing yoga, and how has it helped your creativity as a songwriter and musician?
I found yoga, gosh maybe 8 years ago now. It was when we first started the band actually. It’s definitely helped my mind. And that’s the main thing that can stand in the way of my creativity. And I also suffer from pretty major stage anxiety…so I initially used it as a way to help with that.
I have a very busy anxious mind and when I feel that way it’s very hard to focus on anything else. Yoga has given me a way to quiet that noise and be more present and grounded.
As the world starts to gradually open back up I’m sure you all are eager to get back on stage. Do you have any tour plans lined up later this year?
We have a few festival rebookings and an album tour pencilled for December so we are just starting to think about what a weird years tour might look like. It’s exciting but also incredibly daunting considering this is the longest we have gone without playing live together. It’s gunna feel like starting a band all over again hahaha.