Where we’ve been, Where we go from here

Where we’ve been, Where we go from here

February 16th, 2024


Chicago indie rockers Friko announces their debut album, Where we’ve been, Where we go from here, out February 16th, 2024 on ATO Records. The band has also released the lead single/video “Crashing Through” which can be streamed below. An essential new addition to Chicago’s long lineage of forward-thinking indie rock, Friko — vocalist/guitarist Niko Kapetan and drummer Bailey Minzenberger — transform every song into a moment of collective catharsis. On the wildly sprawling “Crashing Through,” Friko delve deeper into the album-wide theme that Kapetan encapsulates as “wanting better for yourself and the people around you, but wondering how you can possibly do that with the world we live in,” channeling both despair and glory in the song’s choir-like vocals. “It wasn’t intentional for us to have group vocals all over this record,” Kapetan points out, noting that album co-producers Scott Tallarida and Jack Henry, along with several close friends, joined the band in singing backup. “It just happened naturally because we all kept singing along.”

Where we’ve been, Where we go from here merges elements of post-punk and chamber-pop and experimental rock, magnifying Friko’s exhilarating power with a steady barrage of spirited gang vocals. Poetic, explosive, and sublimely raw in feeling, the album brings an equally visceral intensity to brutally heavy anthems and heart-on-sleeve ballads alike, creating an immediate outlet for the most unwieldy emotions. Mastered by Heba Kadry (Björk, Big Thief) and engineered by Henry and Tallarida, Where we’ve been, Where we go from here embodies a sonic complexity befitting of a band that names Romantic-era classical music and the more primal edges of art-rock among their inspirations. “Chopin is one of my favorite composers, and the feeling I get from listening to his nocturnes is the same sort of deep, loving sorrow that I get from playing music with Niko,” says Minzenberger. “I wish I could understand why listening to solo piano music and playing really heavy rock songs can create the same very palpable feeling—but at the same time, I don’t want to understand it.”

With the release of Where we’ve been, Where we go from here, Friko hope that their music’s emotional potency might have a galvanizing impact on the audience. “One of the main things we want to do as a band is talk about what’s happening right now and everything we’re feeling, with an honesty and directness that gets through to people,” says Kapetan. “I hope that our music helps everyone feel more deeply, but in a way that goes beyond just reacting to the songs. I want it to pick people up, so that they can actually go out and do something with whatever they’re feeling.”