Friendly Fires - Late Night Tales - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Friendly Fires - Late Night Tales

by Leonie Mercedes Rating:7 Release Date:2012-11-05

Ahead of the release of their Andrew Weatherall-produced third album, which band frontman Ed Macfarlane promises will be a "psychedelic" long player, electro-indie funsters Friendly Fires have raided their record collection to craft a collection of tracks for chilled out post-raving. A seductive mix of simmering cosmic disco, nostalgic-futuristic Chicago house, and the ethereal shoegaze they were influenced by, the first half of Late Night Tales is every bit as inviting, warm and unashamedly retro as a boudoir done up in lava lamps and shag pile.

From the beckoning-to-bed songs extracted directly from Studio 54 ('Love Vibration' and 'Carry on Turn Me on"), the mix shimmies into Friendly Fires' own italo-tinged tech-engine 'Why Don't You Answer', before sliding effortlessly into dream-pop courtesy of Cocteau Twin and Slowdive, wrapping up with a clutch of love songs with sweet melodies for the end of the night.

For Late Night Tales, the Fires have created a welcoming atmosphere for the comedown that feels like a lovingly arranged mixtape of personal treasures, though in a stylish unexpected turn, they take to their task literally, drafting the talents of Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch to record a spoken-word piece for home-time. Written by author and poet Simon Cleary, 'Flat of Angles (Part 1)' tells the tale of the aftermath of a South East London house party from different perspectives.

It's a mix that sparkles with glamour, though isn't afraid to engage the mind as well as the body. As Cumberbatch notes at the album's close, it is music worth staying up for.

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