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Late Night Tales


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  • Friendly Fires' entry into the Late Night Tales compilation series showcases the St. Albans-based trio's love of afterhours sounds from the '70s onward. Although essentially an indie rock band, Friendly Fires have long incorporated dance and ambient electronic music into their own sound, touching upon such subgenres as trip-hop and shoegaze along the way. In keeping with the band's cross-genre interests, many of the songs here have a transitional, forward-thinking quality that seems to foreshadow the coming decade's trend. Certainly, Friendly Fires pick up on the ethereal, sexy psychedelia of Olivia Newton-John's 1971 cut "Love Song," which seems to prefigure later ambient, introspective work by such artists as Beth Orton and Goldfrapp. In a similarly groundbreaking fashion, Space's 1977 " Carry On Turn Me On," included here, with its moody, pulsing keyboards and thumping beat, portends the coming house movement of the '80s. Elsewhere, Friendly Fires reveal a taste for slightly campy, deeply infectious disco tracks like Renee's funky and malevolent 1980 single, "Change Your Style, " Dennis Parker's similarly cheeky on-the-prowl anthem "Like an Eagle," and Joe Simon's disco boogie call to arms, "Love Vibration." Of course, Friendly Fires' interest in dance music doesn't just end at the radio-ready end of the spectrum, and here they've included a handful of more cerebral, if no less groove-oriented cuts from such artists as Bibio, Iron Galaxy, Sonna, and SBTRKT. There is a pleasant flow to the collection as well, moving from more club-oriented tracks early in the disc to more bliss-inducing afterglow numbers toward the end with cuts by Grouper, Melody's Echo Chamber, and shoegaze cult favorites Slowdive, all of which helps to wind down your evening. ~ Matt Collar
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