Hi Frisco – Goodbye, Blue Monday
East London-based duo Hi Frisco invades the senses with the rabbit hole of psychedelia that is their new album. Goodbye, Blue Monday is overflowing with soundscapes of vibrant tactility, with a few tracks reigned in just enough to enable listeners to catch a breath from a disposition that leaves one swimming in surrealism.
The titular opener is a warm-up of hypnotic layers, dabbling philosophically on “what it’s all for”. After a rising sun of an intro, the song sweetly ends on an unfinished musical phrase, luring listeners in for the rollercoaster of Quiet Lights. Here, the pair fuse psychedelic melody with stirring bass for a trippy whirlwind that’s kick-back cool and a little bit crazy. Driven by a compulsion for the carefree, the track is a dizzy listen but nonetheless addictive in its expansive pace and excitable synths.
Gold slips into rock without succumbing to heavy moods, maintaining static vocals, punchy structure and a revolutionary vibe. The number is described as a testament to trying and failing; lyrics like “persevering is everything and nothing at all” paint the frivolity of blind ambition in youth. Simplistic guitar stabilises what would otherwise be a headspin of pounding percussion. Speaking of which, Headspin is a sonic exploration of all-consuming love under the insufferable expectations of modern life. The visceral description of “demon days”, delivered in the angelic voice of Charlotte Spiral’s Amy Spencer, is a chilling highlight.
The stuttering electronics of Holiday are uncomfortable but certainly command the attention. Sultry harmonies possess dark undercurrents, with lyrics depicting the suffocation of a “freedom we can’t escape’”; a phrase that’s both compelling but disturbing in its implications. In contrast, The War offers an elaborate kaleidoscope of colours, echoes and bouncy beats. An energising dance track in its flashes of Two Door Cinema Club, underpinned by a hint of anxiety at mentions of a “stolen future”, the song has many faces. Just as Echolalia seems repetitive, the piece surprises with a bridge that elevates it to an unexpected dimension: a recurring element of this duo.
The record dials down a notch for the final tracks, Wallflowers seeming to pick up where Goodbye, Blue Monday left off. Optimistic and reminiscent in equal parts, Drift delivers a textured acoustic typical of indie nostalgia. Yet, Hi Frisco never stays anywhere long enough to be tied to a genre, with fluctuating melodies maintaining just the right amount of weirdness to swerve from the mainstream.
Goodbye, Blue Monday disorientates with its rolling references to space and time against warbling instrumentals, but the result is intoxicating. Such unpredictability should be celebrated, for it is here that the beauty and intrigue of Hi Frisco resides.
Goodbye, Blue Monday is released on 9th October 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Hi Frisco’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Headspin here: