Ah yes, it’s that time of year. As England enjoys the two rain-free weeks that pass for summer, its musicians are damn sure gonna make the most of it. Hot on the heels of Metronomy’s summertastic new offering is the long-awaited second record from Friendly Fires, and with it comes the carnival atmosphere we have come to expect from the St Albans trio.
Produced by Paul Epworth and recorded in Sussex, New York and a cottage in France, Pala’s sound shows steady evolution rather than any major direction change. The dancey electro-pop of latest single and opener, Live Those Days Tonight, could have nestled comfortably on their excellent first album and Blue Cassette continues in the same vein, “As I hear your voice/It sets my heart on fire,” sings Ed Macfarlane. Before the chilled, R&B feel of the record’s title track temporarily and necessarily slows the pace a little, the potential singles just keep coming; firstly through the shimmering disco and catchy high vocals of Running Away and then the pounding drums of Hawaiian Air. Sure the lyrics about taking a flight are a bit dumb, but they soon make way for a massive, euphoric, soaring, sweeping chorus that sums Friendly Fires up.
Simply, Pala further proves that all this band really wants to do is make you dance until you can dance no more. It’s always party time in Friendly Fires’ world and when they bring these songs to a festival stage near you, you know it’s going to be awesome.