Friendly Fires - 'Inflorescent'

7/10

It feels like the buzz surrounding the return of Friendly Fires has been going on for years, and in fact all began when the trio made their long-awaited comeback with the single 'Love Like Waves' in the summer of 2018. But unlike the path of many long-awaited returns that we have seen in recent years, the band have since been performing a number of headline shows across the country in anticipation of their new material. This has allowed the trio to road-test a wide range of their latest work, fine-tuning it at every opportunity, resulting in a return that sees them begin exactly where they left off.

The one noticeable difference between the Friendly Fires of then and now is just how much focus has been shifted to the band's production style. While their previous records 'Pala' and their self-titled debut were noticeably blending the borders between indie and dance music, this new release sees them adopt a far more electronic direction, giving them a whole new aesthetic to explore. But despite there being a clear shift in tone since their last LP eight years ago, it almost feels like they have returned to their most refined version of themselves and continued with a joyous and uplifting collection of dance-floor bangers.

While it still maintains plenty of that glossy and sometimes cheesy good-time feel they have always looked to adopt, 'Inflorescent' has this delightful charm about it that is just so hard to ignore. With opener 'Can't Wait Forever' setting the tone and pace of this new release, the album never lets go of its upbeat rhythm, delivering one glorious slice of summer after another.

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