Hear it here first before it drops tomorrow!
We are stoked to be able to present the first full listen to 'Dear Universe', the exceptional debut album from Felicity.
Bringing together the most catchy parts of pop-punk, the most destructive parts of metalcore and the most undeniable elements of pop, the band deliver 11 tracks that are as varied as they are vicious. From the positivity injection of 'You Got This' to the spinkick fury of 'Pendulum' through to the sun-stained savagery of 'Wish You Weren't Here', it's a jam-packed and joyful offering from a band that continues to go from strength to strength in every capacity.
Without further ado, here we go:
If you fancy picking the record up physically, pre-orders are available right now from right HERE
And as an extra little treat, we spoke to guitarists Andrew Rapier and Cory Nicholas all about how the album came together and how it has inspired them as they look forward into the future:
Where did you decide that it was time to start on the debut full-length? What was the initial vision?
Cory: "I remember that before we went into the studio to record [2019 EP] ‘Old Habits’, we teased the idea of trying a full-length. Andrew specifically was like, ‘We’re not ready, let’s not push it, let’s just focus on this’. So we did ‘Old Habits’ and got a lot of push from it. When we got back from tour in 2019 from that record cycle, we had seen so many other bands around us who were touring their debut albums. At the time, we had no representation or management or label. We just had songs that we had been working on and the free time to make something. That was the time. It was the perfect moment where we were still gliding on the EP but ready to make more
"The way we approached the writing and recording of this batch of songs was so vastly different from anything we had ever done before. It’s wild how it feels like we have had these songs ready to go for years now, but for everybody else, it is brand new. But it is all opening up memories of how excited we were at the beginning of the process and making us more excited."
Andrew: “For the first time in a few years, we were 100% DIY and all we had was each other. We knew that it was a sign for us to go in and put everything we had into this. Luckily we had Andrew Wade with us who was willing to produce it, and we just locked ourselves away and made it happen. We had stories to tell, and we had grown to the point where we felt comfortable opening up and sharing those stories. That’s something we didn’t feel as confident with on the EPs.”
Everything you release up until a point is you figuring out who you are, and when you feel like you’ve found it, then you’re going to work even harder to make it perfect…
Cory: “Absolutely. We had a long conversation with Wade where we said that we have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Now is the time for us to experiment and try everything that we have worked up. You talk about the topics that you’ve never brought to light. You bring absolutely everything you have to make it perfect. The realisation in that conversation was that we had to stop trying to be what we think other people want us to and focus on being who we want to be. In doing that, we got ‘Dear Universe’.”
So what were the conversations you were having between yourselves about these new subjects like? What conclusions did you reach?
Andrew: "More than anything, the focus was on writing the best songs possible and try things we had never tried before. When you’re writing an EP and only have four songs, you’re trying to service the fans you have while also pushing forward. So with this full-length, we set out to throw away any labels. If we want to write a pop-punk song, then we will. If we're going to write a metal song, then we will. If we're going to write an acoustic song, then we will. The ten songs have allowed us to do everything. Overall we realised that we no longer cared what people thought of us anymore. We just wanted to be Felicity.
"Another thing is that we wanted every member of the band to have their own song on this record. A song that is their baby. It’s something they wrote, or it’s about a subject or something that happened to them. Everybody has a moment, and it made us all the more invested in the whole process. It also added to the eclectic nature that the final set of songs had."
It’s easy to forget when you’re going at a hundred miles an hour that you’re the one who is actually in control of your band and what it looks and feels like, and at its core, that is to present something fun and positive...
Andrew: "The name Felicity actually comes from the meaning of happiness, and for us making music is the thing that brings us happiness. When we started this band, there was tonnes of negativity in rock music about hating things and being angry. That’s not us as people. We’re driven, and we take this seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously."
How did it feel to realise what exactly you had created when you finished the record?
Cory: "It was hard to believe that we had done this, to be honest. Before, we had focused on things like, ‘Can we make this riff as cool as possible?’ This was the first time that we had gone in with the mindset of being songwriters rather than performers. Let’s try and write something where there will be something for everyone. But to get it back and listen to it for the first time was when we started to notice the actual difference and its journey. To hear how organic and how raw it was. I feel like we showed who we were really are, and it feels amazing to share that after seven years."
Andrew: "I was so proud. We got the final masters in January 2020 when we sat in the band house together and listened to it for the first time. We felt like this was it and that 2020 was going to be our year. Like everybody else in the world, we quickly realised that 2020 wasn’t going to be what we thought it was. It became a hurry up and wait situation. We went from being at a point where we were ready to share this thing with the world to not knowing when we may be able to play live again. To be on the other side of that now feels pretty amazing, as this moment has been two years in the making now."
Are there any songs that hold a different sentiment or meaning to you now following the year of having to sit and contemplate this record?
Cory: "When you’re shut out from the world, and the only people we had around us was each other, it allowed us to work on new stuff rather than feeling bummed that we couldn’t be out there sharing what we had. We were spending so much time together, and using our brains in ways other than as musicians allowed us to grow even closer. We understand each other better now. We communicate better now. So when I listen to ‘Dear Universe’ now, it holds an even more substantial weight than it did. We made this album together, and now everything is so much more exciting as we look forward because the songs we’re working on are even deeper and more expressive."
Andrew: "I feel like the whole experience is taught us all not to take things for granted. Losing a year on a journey that you didn’t want to take off was so humbling, and we set our heads straight in terms of what we wanted. You always feel like you have all the time in the world, but then when you’re forced to focus when everything is taken away, it definitely helps you re-centre."
And finally, what does ‘Dear Universe’ as a title and a sentiment mean to you to sum up this period and this collection of songs?
Andrew: "All we knew when we went into this process was writing songs that were as personal as possible. This album tells the universe who we are right now and what we want to be in the future."
Cory: "It’s a record full of things that we maybe didn’t realise were eating away at us and could be problematic for the band. These songs are us coming to terms with those things and washing our hands of them. It’s us coming to terms with the reality of what happened and letting the world know that we are at peace with it. In that sense, this is a letter to the universe. When you have problems, you write them down and get them out of your system. That’s what we did with these songs. We’ve let go of all of our baggage and started to grow upwards.”