As the dog days of summer wind on, my thoughts have turned to the disc that I have been obsessed with since its release last May. Pala by St Albans, Hertfordshire band Friendly Fires is an astounding record that achieves what I continually look for in good music: creating nostalgia for a time that never was.
Their first offering (the self titled Friendly Fires) is still played heavily in my house, in my car, and on my iPod even three years after its release. Whether it’s a long run (inside or out), a van ride with the kiddos, or 2AM at the club, Friendly Fires fits any mood or setting. I tried my best to curtail my expectations for their second album but it didn’t matter. Pala is fucking stunning and it has become the soundtrack for my summer, taking its place along their debut in continued rotation.
“If we had an manifesto for this album” says Friendly Fires’ singer and bass-player Ed Macfarlane, “it was a simple one; make an exciting, colorful pop record”
“Our goal is to make vibrant, widescreen songs” adds guitarist Edd Gibson. “but they must retain a spontaneity, have an energy and mysticism around them.”
Achieved, lads. Very well done.
Here is live version of my favorite track from the record which will likely be my Track of the Year. I’m not ashamed to admit I well up a little every time I hear it simply from how amazing this song is in both theme and style.