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Album of the Week: Friendly Fires

The indie trio unleash electro-pop inspired third album, Inflorescent.

St Albans’ trio Friendly Fires return with their third album, Inflorescent.

The release marks their first studio album in eight years and follows their Mercury Prize nominated self-titled debut and 2011’s Pala, as well as a rather long break which saw the members undertake their own projects.

Drummer Jack Savidge took to DJing and running a club night, while lead singer Ed Mcfarlane and guitarist Edd Gibson collaborated with electronic music act, Jon Brooks (who performs as The Advisory Circle) under the moniker Pattern Forms.

While Friendly Fires have often been thrown together with noughties indie bands – emerging around the same time – their sound couldn’t be more different. The band have firmly rooted themselves in electronic and dance culture as much as indie, combining their classic shoegaze melodies with psychedelic synth-pop.

Inflorescent, released through Polydor Records, offers up ‘90s nostalgia and synth-heavy electronic beats. There are experimental aspects, tracks inspired by Brazil’s Bossa Nova, and spaced out toe-tapping dance tunes, with some production and co-production duties falling to Mark Ralph, James Ford and Disclosure.

The opening tracks deliver consistently catchy dance pop , with vocals akin to George Michael – a similarity which lead singer Ed Mac has referenced in a few recent interviews.

It feels sunny and assured, the frothy synth pop vibes layer-up to soundtrack a chilled out afternoon or pre-drinking.

Can’t Wait Forever offers an upbeat pop melody with a house-inspired piano and jazz accents that aims straight towards the dance floor.

Their most recent single Silhouettes follows Love Like Waves and Disclosure produced Heaven Let Me In, each as vibrant and experimental as the last.

Offline harks back to the ‘90s while Kiss and Rewind feels fresh and lively. Sleeptalking is the ultimate dream-pop indie anthem, standing against tracks that act as wistful throwbacks.

Together they form a charmingly nostalgic, bright burst of tropical dance-pop with modern flourishes of electronic synth. Inflorescent is a perfect contender for a summer party soundtrack.

Friendly Fires embark on a UK tour this October and November. See them live around the country. [Find Tickets]


Tracklisting:

1. Can’t Wait Forever
2. Heaven Let Me In
3. Silhouettes
4. Offline
5. Sleeptalking
6. Kiss And Rewind
7. Love Like Waves
8. Lack Of Love
9. Cry Wolf
10. Almost Midnight
11. Run The Wild Flowers

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