by: Vivian Lee
Paris: Friendly Fires promise that one day they (and you) will live there together. Club showcases, living it up, watching the stars and the city lights – oh the life!
It's hard to believe that Friendly Fires are actually English by reading their lyrics, but after one listen to their self-titled debut it becomes apparent. They refer to dance floors ("Skeleton Boy" and "Strobe"), love and lust ("White Diamonds"), winning and losing the girl ("Ex Lover") – all in their heavy English accents. To boot, a heavy layer of synths and samplers, guitars and drums, drench each song.
"Skeleton Boy" is the standout song, starting out with a twitchy guitar and synth riff, with lead singer Ed Macfarlane yelping "I close my eyes on the dance floor and forget about you / I lose myself in flashing colors / I've got to see it through." For Friendly Fires, the only way to get over a broken heart is to dance the pain away.
Their album provides a perfect soundtrack to some dingy crowded dance club in London that plays Hot Chip, Metronomy, LCD Soundsystem or Cut Copy… to name a few guitar-infused dance bands. However, what distinguishes Friendly Fires from the others isn't their home country (the former two bands hail from London and Brighton respectively) or their ability to play a mean cowbell. It's their boy-next-door charm and amiable two-part harmonies. The vocals are not as cold and sleek as Cut Copy or as pretentiously cool as LCD Soundsystem. Friendly Fires just wants to make you move.