Compilation Review: ‘Late Night Tales – Friendly Fires’ (Late Night Tales)

★★★★☆

There aren’t many other places you’re gonna find an eclectically personal, non-zany selection by relevant artists in the spotlight, who can chronicle the common ground held by Bibio, SBTRKT, Cocteau Twins and Olivia Newton-John. All held together with a sparkle hovering around the UK band’s post-party pot pourri, even when its funking the hardest (Renee’s “Change Your Style”), Friendly Fires can be found dancing around their living room having cracked open the after dinner mints. Flailing to the camp disco of Dennis Parker takes care of the guilty pleasures, before sensual deep house from Iron Galaxy restores decorum, reaches for the holiday slides and acts like the previous outburst should be filed confidential. Or a different set of substances have just kicked in.

Chunky sunset beats see Bibio and Stereolab easing you down with conviction, as FF begin burning candles at both ends, all the while staying proactive and moulding their miscellany with gentle thought. After a touch of fantasy from Laurel Halo, it’s obvious that the question “you know what we need right now” has entered conversation as DJ Sprinkles gets the party re-energized. But once the back end of the mix is coddled by ethereal shoegaze and baggy floweriness from Grouper, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Slowdive, the band are back in their rocking chairs with heads swimming. Thanks to Friendly Fires, here’s something you’ll be reaching for when a party becomes a sleepover.

File under: Foals, Metronomy, Mystery Jets

Matt Oliver