Review by Aaron Gates-Lincoln
The emerging Tyneside star Sam Fender begins the year in an impressive way, after being listed as one of the BBC’s Sound of 2018 contenders, with the release of his new single Friday Fighting. Following on from his successful 2017 releases of Play God and Start Again, this new material brings the same indie feel that Fender oozes, yet packs a bit more punch than what we are accustomed to hearing from him.
The fun and intriguing story behind the song and lyrics sucks the listener into the world of young Fender, as he goes into the reckless nights spent fighting and drinking with friends. The reminiscence is something that all listeners can relate to, and is what gives the song such a refreshing feel. However, there is a stark contrast between the tone of carelessness created by the chorus and the hints of the secrecy of the teenage mind as he sings, ”let it all out with someone who doesn’t know what’s behind these closed doors”.
Despite the bittersweet journey, the single is a much more party-themed anthem than Fender’s usual sound. Littered with arousing crescendos and powerful drums, a tension is created throughout the song that is allowed to explode in the chorus, freeing the listener to “let it all out” just as Fender asks. The delicately crisp but strained vocals pair perfectly with the fast paced instrumental to create a song that is rewarding to the listener as it just makes you want live wild and independently, like all teenagers do.
Fender has clearly shown that he is refining his sound and direction with this single, and has proven that he is indeed one to watch in the world of indie rock.