Friday nights were the best. They were the crazy ones, the all-nighters. Uninhibited and unshackled, dancing and drinking until the small hours, sometimes into the not-so-small hours of Saturday. What followed was the inevitable comedown and the fear.
Remember Friday nights? When Everything Is Recorded made Friday Forever, Fridays were still a thing. Not so much for me anymore (read this to get an idea why), but for many people it was still the highlight of the week. So, if ever a window of time amidst the mediocrity and mundanity of an average week deserved a concept album, it has to be Friday night.
This is a body of work that utterly and completely evokes that thrill of the night and brings it to life so vividly that when you listen you are transported directly to the moment. Every track is preceded by a time. It starts at 09.46pm/ Every Friday Thereafter and ends at 11.59am/ Circles. Just over fourteen hours. The anticipation, the ascendency to peak euphoria, the comedown and the hangover. It is an incredibly creative and imaginative presentation.
But it’s so much more than just a clever concept. To get my full thoughts you can read my Louder Than War review. For now, it’s sufficient to say that the tunes are as on point as the concept. The mood is dark and foreboding, the setting hardcore urban. As the night unfolds, the music gets darker and more intense before it flips and finds a mellower groove at precisely 04.21am. As it does.
Everything Is Recorded’s 2018 Mercury-nominated debut was choc-full of world class collaborators and Friday Forever is no different. We have Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah and his boy Infinite Coles. There’s Maria Somerville, BERWYN, FLOHIO and the legendary Penny Rimbaud. Perhaps less high profile collaborators than two years ago, but the standard of their contributions is equally high.
Finally, I want to focus on THE moment. This split-second of brilliance was my absolute musical moment of 2020. It occurs just as the intro track Every Friday Thereafter segues into The Night. There is a miniscule drop out before an incessant three-note guitar riff kicks in. The timing is perfect and it’s a sound that sticks in your mind forever, a fleeting second of absolute, wonderful genius. I would pay good money for that single moment alone.
Friday Forever is phenomenally ambitious and creative and its creator Richard Russell deserves massive praise for conceiving and producing it. Moreover, it keeps the spirit of Friday night alive and that is most worthy in itself.