Hi Frisco, with the release of their debut album Goodbye, Blue Monday, become not only champions of the antonym, but also of the indie psyche scene.
The opening -and title- track, a slow and dreamy two and a half minutes, appears to foreshadow an album full of melancholy. But instead, we realise, as the 15-second mark of track two hits, the clock has struck midnight, the blues of Monday are gone, and in rushes Hi Frisco’s wonderful Tuesday.
The singles- Gold, The War, and the latest, Headspin, are well-chosen strong points. “Don’t stay in your lane”, Headspin’s lyrics say- and they don’t. Throughout the record there are measured toe-dips outside the heavy haze of psychedelia. Both synth and strings make recurrent appearances, and at times the guitar veers into straight rock.
Goodbye, Blue Monday’s non-singles are certainly not to be overlooked, though. Echolalia (track 6), Drift (7), and Wallflowers (8) are all impeccably produced. The only pitfall in these three tracks is that their introductions are just so sonically compelling that the rest is set up to disappoint, however great the body of the song might be. Perhaps the fuzzy shoegaze-esque vocals are to blame, slightly dampening the pointed impact of the instrumentation and production by being a bit… unintelligible. All will be well, then, when the Genius lyrics are up.
The album closer, Goodbye, Blue Monday (Reprise), takes the opener and plays it in reverse. Whilst a well-established, simple concept, this reversing is incredibly effective here, reminding you of where the record started and where it’s taken you, retracting any preconceptions you initially had in track one- a deserved retrospective bookend.
“Escape,” Hi Frisco sing in track four, Holiday, “I want you to have a holiday”. And it feels like we have been granted one. Goodbye, Blue Monday advances, track by track, as if you’re waving out the small, square window of an aeroplane, climbing exponentially further from your shrinking blues. Hi Frisco have granted us a well-needed holiday with this record, and all without violating any Covid travel restrictions.
Say hi to Goodbye…