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Debby Friday
Good Luck Amanda Farah , March 29th, 2023 08:59

With its harsh sounds and pulsing beats, Good Luck is a debut album that bursts from the starting blocks wiuth all guns blazing

Debby Friday’s debut album, Good Luck, is stunning for the artist’s overwhelming confidence in her work. The Nigerian-born Canadian asserts herself from the jump in her delivery, in her lyrics, in how she embraces her sense of self and her sexuality. Friday comes across as a more seasoned artist than a debut album would suggest, the result of being a dedicated performer.

Friday’s compositions are loud, metallic, and brash, driven by heavy hitting drums and wearing the influence of her self-declared club upbringing and DJing experience on her sleeve. She is unafraid of marrying harsh sounds with pulsing beats, shrieking electronic tones with throbbing rhythms, tilted sidewise by catchy choruses. This frenetic energy bursts through on ‘I Got It’, evoking the disorienting motion capture of a strobe light while balancing Friday’s sly delivery with a rapid fire Spanish language verse from Uñas.

The influence of 80s goth creeps in on multiple points: the sub-bass warble and dispassionate vocal on the verse of ‘Hot Love’ and the reverberation of the bass on ‘Let U Down’ and ‘What a Man’ bring that particular vibe to life. ‘What a Man’ further embraces the pastiche with a winking, cheesy, hair metal guitar. The track also shows off some of Friday’s strongest vocal work which she then knowingly mucks up with exaggerated screams.

While Friday’s confidence can’t be ignored, her lyrics aren’t out of touch with human feelings. On the comparatively downtempo track ‘Safe’, she uses a vocal, pitched-shifted down, to delineate a character with a fear of abandonment. It stands in stark contrast to her usual unaltered vocals with their unflinching directness that tease out the question: will anyone love you like I do?

Where vulnerability sounds almost out of keeping with the album is on ‘So Hard to Tell’, and in this case it’s the radical change in Friday’s vocals that make it an outsider. Hitting and sustaining a higher octave than the rest of the album gives Friday’s voice a childlike quality. It serves the song well, but the song itself comes too early in the album to immediately recognise it for the oddity that it is – like she’s a different person altogether.

While seeing any bit of vulnerability in Friday’s work does make her more relatable, it’s the woman who titled her debut EP Bitchpunk that dominates Good Luck, and her attitude is a lot of fun. Her rallying cry comes from the opening title track: “Don’t you fuck it up / Give it what you got.” Friday attacked her debut like she was born ready, and it’s fully convincing that she was.