We seem to collectively be moving back toward the 2000s. This move isn’t new, nor hard to see why it’s happening. Smartphones are zombifying teenagers and adults alike, quick access to hard questions makes us think less, and new fashion is just re-packaged old fashion. But, above all, with so many new tools at our disposal, music is becoming increasingly overproduced. As a result, it brings the same energy of people discovering synths for the first time in the 80s to modern production in 2023.
The desire for overproduction seems to dissipate in Fairweather Friends, the new song by Canadian artist Nikki White. Instead, the song feels like an homage to the 2000s, with its music video featuring point-and-shoot film cameras, the pastels and neons of an arcade, and everyone's favorite aughts activity, bowling.
Beyond the music video's visuals, which can be found on youtube, the song itself feels like Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson are still putting out music. The song's introduction is White singing “Did you forget.” in a way that is evocative of how Kelly Clarkson sings “Since you’ve been gone” in her 2004 hit song of the same title.
The similarities don’t stop there. The guitar riff and drums at the beginning of the song are also reminiscent of Clarkson and play on that nostalgia bone heavily. White forgoes overly complicated digital production and keeps the instrumentation simple with some strings and some drums. It isn’t hard to imagine White performing this song paired with a band, an image that isn’t as common as some would hope it to be these days.
The song is energetic and upbeat, bringing heavy guitar solos and belting vocals inviting listeners to pump their fists and rock their heads. But the song is anything but uplifting. Instead, it’s a song about the friends that leave us when we need them most. Fairweather Friends, as the title of the song aptly suggests, are the subject of more pain than whatever the inciting incident was. White bears it all for us to listen to on this track and puts all our emotions when dealing with our fairweather friends on her sleeve and in our ears.
Written by Eli Chavez