It’s always kind of fun to think back on how the different songs or artists that you listen to entered your life, especially those ones that it now seems are an integral part of your every day listening. 8:30am on a random weekday morning while listening to the well known sports programme, Off The Ball, is probably one of the more random ways. The fact that it was later reinforced in a late night bar in Berlin only adds to the story. And this was how the British producer and electronic music artist, Fred Again.., came to be the one currently dominating my Spotify charts.
The song in question that was heard in that Berlin bar?
Fred Again.. is the stage name of Fred Gibson, the British producer who has famously been behind some of the key works by artists such as Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Ed Sheeran, and Eminem, among others. Gibson’s big breakthrough came in 2018 when the song that he co-wrote with English singer-songwriter, George Ezra, Shotgun, went on to become the British no. 1, and become a worldwide hit for Ezra.
Two years later, in 2020, Gibson would go on to win the title of Producer of the Year at the Brit Awards, the youngest person ever to do so.
But it was back in late July that Fred Again.. finally came to widescale prominence when his set at the esteemed Boiler Room sessions was greeted with universal acclaim. As said by Apple Music’s Zane Lowe in a recent interview with Gibson, it seemed to be one of the only times when a DJ/electronic set was being spoken about and written about by people “outside of the community”. It felt like a seminal moment for Fred Again..
While the whole set is worth your attention, it was one song (which was unreleased up to that point) that properly grabbed my attention and proceeded to dominate my listening since – the incredible Delilah (Pull Me Out Of This) (skip to 13:30 in the video above to hear it at the Boiler Room Sessions).
Fred Again.., across the course of his Actual Life projects has used the mechanism of using voice memos, camera roll videos, and other little clips that he gathers to act as the backbone of his songs and direct the sentiment of them. The song Delilah (Pull Me Out Of This) is inspired by a clip on Instagram of singer/songwriter Delilah Montagu talking about the sensation of being in a nightclub and feeling lonely while you miss the person you love who can make things better. It was a clip that resonated with Gibson, who had previously experienced a panic attack in a night club, and felt as though he needed someone to help him find a way out.
I have written in previous posts on this website about when a song grabs you totally and both the music and the sentiment behind the song just seems to be telling a story that you can relate to. Both Montagu and Gibson have drawn on experiences of being on a night out in a club and feeling trapped or lost and wanting someone to help them feel free, but this can easily be transferred or applied to any situation, location, or experience, that leaves you with a feeling of unease when you want someone to make you feel better. In my case, a job that I wasn’t enjoying and that was starting to effect aspects of my life outside of work, and the only thing that seemed to ease these effects was getting to see a certain someone.
The soundscape that is created across this track is a demonstration of the ability that Gibson has to put you in the position of the artist. The instrumentation is subtly sophisticated and layered throughout the song, and while the swells help to create an uplifting and joyous, the track is broken up with quieter moments punctuated with clips from Montagu acting as a contrast to the positive sentiments of the rest of the track. However, there is something undeniably beautiful about these interjections and the line that is repeated towards the end of the track puts forward the powerful idea of how the right someone can make everything feel better.
You know how to calm me down…
The music video for this song is also stunning beautiful, showing a clip of two crowd members at a recent show by the performer sharing an intimate moment. As articulated by Fred Again.. himself, it is clear that both these people are having a moment, but the ending of the clip where they both return to enjoy the music shows the power that the right people can have in helping you through different things.
It may have broken me.
Sometimes a song makes such an impression that all you can say is thanks…
Thanks, Fred Again..