Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

FIZZ let loose on gleeful debut The Secret To Life

"The Secret To Life"

Release date: 27 October 2023
FIZZ The Secret Of Life cover
13 September 2023, 09:00 Written by Caitlin Chatterton

Individually, the makers of FIZZ (Orla Gartland, Greta Isaac, Martin Luke Brown and dodie) produce cool, aesthetic-driven pop tunes bogged down in the past loves, mental health struggles, and general angst of everyday life. Their debut album as FIZZ is the musical equivalent of a photographer saying: "Now let’s do a silly one."

“I get the feeling that lately you’ve been looking for something to inspire you”, says a smoothly robotic voice, atop a wobbling track of perfectly infuriating hold music. “Something to lift you up and get you out of that funk / an escape from reality.” Her prescribed remedy? The Secret To Life, a record made purely for the hell of it. Following that introduction on “A New Phase Awaits You”, the album begins proper with its titular track: a dopamine-injected racket of raucous percussion, jazzy piano, and choral singing to signal right from the off that this is an ‘everything bar the kitchen sink’ approach to pop music.

Still, despite what we’ve been told we haven’t actually escaped from reality – we’re simply looking at it through a camper lens. From the jubilant chorus on “Hell Of A Ride”, for instance, you’d hardly know you were foot-tapping along to a song about existential dread. Indeed, the horrors of ageing, dying, and the maddening experience of being raised as a woman are all surprisingly real themes underpinning this record, happily preventing it from falling into saccharine territory. The band also ruminate on somewhat lesser struggles – the fear of being boring (“Strawberry Jam”) and the mortification of chasing someone who isn’t interested (“I Just Died”) – which are hidden beneath similarly playful production. Essentially, these are the standard musings of four twenty-somethings expressed with all the chaotic euphoria of their inner child.

Endearingly, the album also leaves room for all four members to showcase themselves. Orla takes lead vocals on the characteristically breezy “Close One”; Greta shines on the raging banger “As Good As It Gets”; Martin does his best Elton impression on the short but sweet, bouncing piano tune “Rocket League”, before dodie calms things down for the starkly minimalist, acoustic ballad “You, Me, Lonely”. This is a supergroup, after all, so it’s nice to hear each of the component artists have their moment. They merge back together in time for “The Grand Finale”, though: a suitably melodramatic farewell sprawling well over five minutes, armed to the teeth with yet more choral singing, theatrical piano, misty-eyed lyrics, and even a brief guitar solo. “Bohemian Rhapsody” it is not, but it is a laugh. That’s the appeal of this record – indeed the band as a whole – really: that it is such a deliciously extravagant ode to unseriousness. Have I uncovered the secret to life? I don’t know. But I have had a good time, and that might be the point.

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