Decomposed: Friendly Fires

Friendly Fires are the first overseas group to step to the plate in our Decomposed studio. The English band had a big year, releasing their eponymous debut on XL this past September and earning Cool List cool by NME, who placed the trio at the 10 spot on their top 50 of 2008. Outside the UK, Friendly Fires made showings on year-enders by Rolling Stone and Pitchfork (via the “Paris” remix with Au Revoir Simone), and now they’ve made a stripped-down showing at Decomposed.

The boys gave us “Paris” in a spare, but still impressively anthemic fashion. They also offer new takes on “Strobe,” featuring a literal fixation on the light behind vocalist Ed Mac’s head and gentle keyboard/guitar accompaniment, along with “On Board,” the most guitar-and-shaker oriented of the three. The latter features backup vocals from Jack Savidge and impressive, intricate noodles by Edd Gibson. Tight. Way back when, when they were 14, Friendly Fires started as the post-hardcore band First Day Back. Like the Uglysuit before them, the stepped up and showed that getting to know your fellow players is helpful when you’re presenting your music without a safety net.

Watch the full session at stereogum.com/decomposed.