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US LP pressing. "This 37 minutes of music is the end product of two years' inspiration, frustration, toil and passion. We set out to merge heartfelt, romantic songwriting with our love of the dancefloor and blissful shoegaze guitars" Friendly Fires, July 2008 This is the Friendly Fires' eponymous debut album via XL. Recordings. Most will probably have heard of them already - the band gained a huge amount of popularity over the past 18 months playing clubs and venues up and down the country and releasing three much lauded limited singles - they were the first unsigned band to appear on Channel 4's Transmission show and Radio 1 DJs Zane Lowe, Colin Murray and Rob Da Bank are all fans. Creating their own unique sound, it's not hard to see what all the fuss is about. The debut album which has been two years in the making, is a heady mixture of dance-floor friendly monsters, amidst beautiful washes of understated lo-fi pop music. Album highlights include the aforementioned Paris - a deft combination of clattering percussion and a blissed out, hum-along hook, whilst in the Hospital combines a driving punk funk groove with an unstoppable pop melody. Macfarlane's joyous vocals in the chorus of Skeleton Boy give the song such a lift you could dust under the band's amps. Then there's the brilliantly wonky waltz-like rhythms on White Diamonds, which point to their love of German techno label Kompakt, while the Paul Epworth-produced first single Jump in the Pool (the only track on the album which is not self-produced) is an inspired collision of loose Liquid Liquid drums and My Bloody Valentine atmospherics. It's all the more impressive when you consider that they recorded it entirely themselves on a laptop, laying down one instrument at a time and using a "crappy microphone gaffer taped to a mic stand". The band tried working with various producers, but in the end opted for the same lo-fi, DIY aesthetic they've always perused. The recording sessions took place in the studio they'd always used: The garage of Macfarlane's parent's house. Paul Epworth and the band hooked up last minute to produce the first single 'Jump in the Pool' as Epworth is a big fan of the band's previous work. XL. 2008.

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