Not many people can headline Coachella on such short notice after an artist pulls out, but Fred Gibson did exactly that. Better known under his artist moniker Fred Again or Fred again.., the British artist, DJ and producer has always had an ear for music, skipping school lessons to opt for the music room. As a teenager his neighbour, who was none other than the renowned composer Brian Eno, invited him in as his protege, and it was just a matter of time until Fred Again blew up.
Now, the artist has produced music for the likes of Ed Sheeran, BTS, Stormzy and George Ezra, but his talent truly shines through his trilogy of albums titled “Actual Life” and his viral Boiler Room gig. The artist also recently released a collaborative album with his mentor Brian Eno this year titled “Secret Life”, a subtle change from his usual work while still staying true to his style. Keep reading as we dissect Fred Again’s defining songs.
KYLE (I FOUND YOU)
The first track created for his debut “Actual Life (April 14 – December 17 2020) album, Kyle (i found you) starts off with the sounds of a whistle reminiscent of train conductors, telling of the fact that the artist created many of his songs on tube journeys. After having released a few songs to his YouTube channel, Fred Again’s first official release is an emotional dance song inspired by his Berlin trips where he attended the famed Berghain nightclub. While Kyle (i found you) is much softer than Berghain’s typical house sound, the inspiration can be especially heard through the reverberating drums that overlap the poet Kyle Tran Myhre’s words, who Fred Again found on Instagram and sampled during an open-mic night.
MAREA (WE’VE LOST DANCING)Created during the pandemic, Marea (we’ve lost dancing) is an ode to the abandoned nightlife that affected so many artists during 2020. Created after a conversation Fred Again had with Marea, also known as the Blessed Madonna, the lyrics are all sampled from various of the American DJ’s speeches. This track quickly became globally streamed, as the entire world felt the pain of both DJs, as everyone was confined to their own homes, unable to enjoy nightlife anymore.
BILLIE (LOVING ARMS)
Deeply personal with a diary quality to it as usual, this track juxtaposes the vulnerability of its lyrics with its upbeat, dance-style backing. The first track to be revealed from his second album, Billie (loving arms) is all about allowing people to help when it’s most needed, something that was quite tricky at the time when it was created as it was peak lockdown and all sorts of physical contact was cut off. Sampling Billy Ray Martin’s 1994 Your Loving Arms, the song still has a cheerful outlook on the otherwise distressed material.
DANIELLE (SMILE ON MY FACE)
Working with 070 Shake on the vocals, Danielle (smile on my face) has a bumpy beat created with electronic Four Tet, who Fred Again shared the stage with at the recent Coachella festival. The song was initially previewed during the artist’s viral Boiler Room set in 2022 and quickly became a fan-favourite after its official release on “Actual Life 3: January 1 – September 9 2022)”. With the lyrics “Sometimes I wanna feel the pain”, this melancholic song feels like yet another extension of Fred Again ethos to dance away the pain.
I SAW YOU
The first single off the collaborative album “Secret Life” with Brian Eno, I Saw You taps into Eno’s ambient leaning, allowing listeners to truly wrap themselves into the pain and sadness that has previously been hidden by uptempo beats. The repetition of the words and syllables mirrors the slow heartbeat-like sounds and faint piano keys that gently take over the end of the song. I Saw You is an encapsulation of the entire album, which loses Fred Again’s protective layer of drums, opting for a subtler sound that feels like a much-needed exhale of grief.
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