Ever since they first appeared, Friendly Fires have always been walking on a thin line between indie and pop, with some pieces of punk, electro and funk thrown in. And it was always this fusion of different worlds, together with an immaculate ear to write perfect hooks, that made them special, taking these three guys apart from your average british indie band.
The good news is that, three years after that much-loved debut album, they haven’t lost that special touch, right on the contrary. Pala seems like a logical sequel to their previous work, perfecting that trademark fusion, with even more and better hooks that always seem to come out of nowhere, exploding in the heights of those infectiously catchy choruses. But, of course, there are also some small changes to keep us entertained. The instrumentals seem more complex, with the inclusion of subtle electronic notes and rave-y synths that add new depths to the songs. And, most of all, the solemn indie vibes that were more prominent on Friendly Fires seem to have vanished almost completely, giving way to a new lightness that allows the songs to fly even higher.
In the end, the fact that one of the tracks from Pala is called Hawaiian Air is not a coincidence, as neither are those vivid colors and neon lights seen in the artwork and press shoots: there’s a summery and sunny atmosphere in here that is, for lack of better word, purely irresistible. Now pass us the sun lotion please. (7,5/10)