By Michael Ybarra
Emerging from the dense forest of European bands comes FIZZ, a group crafting their own fantastical wonderland. Consisting of best friends Dodie, Gretta Isaac, Orla Gartland and Martin Luke Brown, FIZZ is downright whimsical and committed to remaining unserious in everything they do before they release their debut album, The Secret to Life, on Oct. 27. Their album rollout has been quite interesting as well as they wield unconventional tactics to allow listeners to peek behind the door into Fizzville, the world they have created.
Before listeners knew an album was coming, FIZZ released this teaser on YouTube:
Through the CGI renderings, glitches every so often and strange poses, viewers witness the members falling into the world of FIZZ themselves, and they can get a feel for what the band is all about: rejecting normalcy, embracing peculiarity and overall fun. After giving their listeners a taste, FIZZ released a frenzy of content to fully induct their fans into Fizzville, including their first single.
“High In Brighton” boasts FIZZ’s natural playfulness with its cheeky guitar and absurd lyrics. Their first single showcases how gorgeously explosive it is when each member, a master of music in their own right, comes together to usher listeners into Fizzville. With an endless number of luscious harmonies, “High In Brighton,” in my opinion, was the perfect choice for FIZZ’s debut.
Before their second single, FIZZ revealed one of their aces by announcing a podcast hosted by the four members. Sunday With FIZZ chronicles behind the scenes of each single leading up to their album’s release. The podcast gives listeners an opportunity to grow fond of the members’ personas outside of the characters they play.
With the rise of podcasting, this is a genius tactic on behalf of FIZZ’s marketing team. Demand for behind-the-scenes content and lyric explanations has never been higher. Fans hope to establish parasocial relationships with the artists and celebrities they follow. FIZZ engaging with their audience in this way is completely innovative, and many artists may follow in their footsteps in the future.
Their second single, “Hell Of A Ride,” oozes with angst and depicts the band yearning to live life to the fullest before their inevitable demise. Throughout the song, Brown leads his fellow Fizzvillians to make a joke out of life, but in the outro, Gartland stops Brown and the listener in their tracks.
A sudden moment of clarity, accompanied by reverb piano and vocals, washes over the listener, rendering Brown useless in resisting the gratitude which comes from Gartland singing “I’m glad I’m alive/I’m alive/I’m alive.”
While most of their songs released thus far can be chaotic yet magical, sobering moments like these add an impressive nuance to their music. A seamless transition from silliness to sincerity proves the band’s humanity and makes FIZZ that much more special.
Their final single, “As Good As It Gets,” brings a different, equally complex issue to the table. In Dodie’s own words, this track is “the scream that [women] really need” while existing in a world which so often casts them aside and expects them to cater to men’s every whim.
Isaac takes the reins on this track and her vocals rocket into the stratosphere, particularly in the bridge where her anger melds with Dodie’s and Gartland’s. A cacophony of chaos ensues before the drums receive a solo, allowing the women to exhale during the outro, their repressed frustration finally released but not entirely quelled.
Introducing fans to a different world is challenging, but FIZZ has done it successfully. Their singles categorize them as silly civilians of Fizzville with just enough nuance to ensure they do not become irritating caricatures. Their album rollout has been iconic with their podcast and merchandise release, including a rather promiscuous addition only available through a mailing list giveaway.
I cannot wait to explore Fizzville on Oct. 27, and I will be sure to review The Secret to Life. Stay whacky. Stay silly. Stay tuned!
Written by: Preethi Mangadu