Friendly Fires are an English indie rock band from St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. They are currently signed to XL Recordings. Their self-titled debut album was released on 1 September 2008, and was announced as one of the shortlisted twelve for the 2009 Mercury Prize on 21 July 2009.
Friendly Fires met at St Albans School. At the age of 13, in year eight and nine , the members formed their first band, a post-hardcore outfit called First Day Back, covering songs by Green Day and other rock-like artists, which existed until they began university. During this time, lead singer Ed Macfarlane released his own music through the electronica label Skam, and Precinct Recordings. Upon leaving university, they formed a new band inspired by dance music, "lush shoegaze melodies", and classic pop songwriting. The name Friendly Fires originates from the opening track of the Section 25 LP Always Now. The band considers German techno label Kompakt, Carl Craig and Prince to be their greatest influences.
In late 2007, they became the first unsigned band to appear on Channel 4's Transmission programme. Their single "Paris" achieved "Single of the Week" in The Guardian newspaper, NME magazine, and also on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show. They have toured extensively, with past performances and festival appearances throughout the UK, Europe, Japan, the US, Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia.
In May 2008, their song "On Board" was featured in North American television commercials for Nintendo's Wii Fit. "On Board" is also featured in the trailer for the PlayStation 3 game Gran Turismo 5. "White Diamonds" is featured in one of the episodes in the second season of the American television series Gossip Girl. "Jump in the Pool" is the theme tune to BBC One's final score for the 2009–10 football season, aired on Saturday afternoons. "In the Hospital", and "Lovesick", are featured in the Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 driving game Colin McRae: Dirt 2. "Lovesick" is played on Soccer AM as the week's football fixtures are announced.
In September 2008, they released their first LP: Friendly Fires, featuring the singles "On Board", "Paris", "Jump in the Pool", and "Skeleton Boy". The enhanced two-disc version of the album, released on 31 August 2009, included new summer single "Kiss of Life", earlier songs "Relationships" and "Bored of Each Other", other various remixes, and a DVD of their live performance of the band's at London's HMV Forum on 15 May 2009.
The album was certified double gold in the UK; the band was nominated for a Best Breakthrough Award at The South Bank Show Awards and for Best Dancefloor Filler at the NME Awards. They were also second on the bill on the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour in January and February 2009, playing alongside headliner Glasvegas and other up-and-coming bands White Lies and Florence and the Machine. In March 2009, Friendly Fires co-headlined with White Lies on an American equivalent of the tour called NME Presents, with The Soft Pack supporting.