Late Night Tales reaches the big 3 – 0, and what a way to celebrate, with a landmark edition from the effervescent Friendly Fires.
Formed in 2006 in the London suburb of St Albans, Friendly Fires trio Ed Macfarlane, Edd Gibson and Jack Savidge recorded their 2008 self-titled debut album in Ed’s parent garage. In view of its DIY conception it made a serious impact, selling over 200,000 copies and picking up a fistful of Brit Award and Mercury nominations along the way. Released in summer 2011, the band’s Aldous Huxley referencing second album Pala further investigated the band’s love of artists like Talking Heads, Timbaland and Scritti Politti but also of the genius techno of Carl Craig and Boards of Canada. So, there we have the perfect prescription of head, heart and footwork that defines ideal participants for constructing Late Night Tales.
The opening third is pitched firmly on the up, tripping back through disco’s global strands with Ontario’s Junior Boys, ’80s Dutch proto-house by Renée, Grammy Award winning Joe Simon, the erotically charged disco funk odyssey ‘Carry On, Turn Me On’ by French outfit Space and anthemic porn-disco ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ by Dennis Parker.
Taking a left turn via the always welcome art-pop auteurs Bibio and Stereolab, the familiar chimes of ‘Hold On’ by SBTRKT ring onto Friendly Fires’ exclusive cover version of the ’78 electronic classic ‘Why Don’t You Answer’ by Eberhard Schoener and Sting. We also see a brace of fresh 2012 releases in the form of Iron Galaxy ‘Attention Seeker’ and Melody Echo Chamber ‘Endless Shore’.
On the final leg, Grouper’s acoustic minimalism attracts the shoegazing daydreams of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive before Friendly Fires take it home with the seemingly unmanageable arrangement of Olivia Newton John into German neo-classical composer Nils Frahm.
Tucking you in, Late Night Tales begin a new bedtime story Flat Of Angles narrated by none other than star of Sherlock, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – and of next year’s Star Trek sequel and The Hobbit films (and admitted Friendly Fires fan) – Benedict Cumberbatch. Elementary.
Released on 5th November digitally, on CD and limited heavyweight double LP, the album is available to pre-order now through the Late Night Tales online store.