IRL features a kind of euphoric, escapist alt-pop energy that offers an antidote to the January gloom.
As vocalist Natti Shiner explains, it was inspired by her friends who have discovered that lockdown has made app-based dating more uncertain than ever:
"Dating in today's world means a lot of screen time.
"How are you supposed to know if you have chemistry until you meet them in real life?
"Are you putting too much time into something virtual that might turn out to be nothing in reality?"
IRL is released alongside a video
that was filmed when lockdown restrictions
The video finds all four members of the band relishing being together again, as they channel the frustrations of the year into an exuberant performance.
"'IRL' has such a great energy so we knew we wanted to create a performance video. It feels like we are living in a virtual reality right now and we kinda wanted to mirror that idea with the illustrated parts of the set.
"Our bedrooms have become a safe haven in this time, a place to be creative and a space to reflect.
"We have missed playing music with each other so much it felt pretty special to be reunited and do that in a (fake) bedroom, surrounded by the most awesome team of creative minds."
The track is one of two new songs that feature on Weird Years (Season 1).
The other is the soothing, cinematic Finish Line, a conversational take on mental health which admits that there are no easy solutions, but time can change everything.
Also featuring the recent singles What A Time, 92 and Million - Weird Years (Season 1) represents a bold evolution in Fickle Friends' sound and is the product of their new-found creative independence.
This new chapter in their story sees the band operating as a cottage industry, keeping all of their creative pursuits in-house.
They're also encouraging fans and the wider community to cast new light on their songs with a series of Weird Years art collaborations, which are hosted on their website.
Fickle Friends are Natti (vocals), Harry Herrington (bass), Jack Wilson (synth), and Sam Morris (drums).
They are relishing the day that they will be able to hit the road again: the rush of performing, the camaraderie of the crew, meeting new people and discovering new places. And that will come.
But for now, embrace their new music, which is destined to propel them to greater things.
Weird Years (Season 1) is available HERE.