Photo: Aidan Cullen
Without fail, pop polymath Dominic Fike regularly delivers songs that are guaranteed to get stuck in your head for weeks on end, all while playing by his own set of rules. It is an impressive and consistently refreshing duality the Florida-born artist demonstrates without a moment's hesitation in his latest single.
"Chicken Tenders" follows standout Kenny Beats collaborations "Hit Me Up" and "Phone Numbers" and is Fike's first standalone single since the double release of "Açaí Bowl" and "Rollerblades" just over a year ago. Originally set to arrive last week as the first single from his debut album, the Naples-born artist pushed back the release to highlight the ongoing conversations and protests surrounding police brutality and systemic racism. You can read the full heartfelt and forthcoming letter below, which touches upon Fike's own firsthand experiences with unjust law enforcement, as well as demanding justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The newly released single sees Fike at his best, balancing his infectious anti-pop sensibility with an undeniable musical dexterity. Opening on a pitched-up recounting of enjoying TV and chicken tenders in his hotel room, the effect is equal parts eccentric and nostalgic.
"Chicken Tenders" soon opens up to unveil the full extent of Fike's vision. The constant sway and driving force behind each understated production and instrumentation elements results in an instant earworm. There is an ineffable sincerity to the entire affair - one that is carried largely by Fike's impressive gift for musicianship that strays the line between Top 40 contender and genre-bending savant.
In addition to the new single, arrives an accompanying Twin Peaks-inspired music video that takes Fike in and out and in and out and in and out of the inescapable red room.
Listen to "Chicken Tenders" below: