Way back in 2013 I featured a new band from Brighton who went by the name Phantom Runners. Their debut single It Takes Me Away jangled with some full on groovy indie swagger and I was ready and prepared for the blogs to be all over the song. It didn’t happen. A few further releases (which to be fair a number of sites did get a little bit excited about) followed but it all seemed to fizzle out before the sparkle had really got going.
But in pop you need to be careful with sparks and embers, because sometimes they ignite something else and before you know it you’ve got a glow. In this case a neon glow of electronic pop gloss goodness.
For Adam Al-Hilali was the front man of Phantom Runners, but now he flies solo under the name ADAL, signing himself as a future pop collaborator / curator rather than just a producer and songwriter. His new project has been bubbling under for a while now but it’s his new collaboration with Copenhagen’s singer of pop bangers FREJA (they're both lovers of the capital letter clearly) that really hits home. Fire To You is a cinematic pop tune that could have easily featured on the soundtrack of Top Gun or Drive. It’s a flawless example of the slick soft synth song that will no doubt appeal to fans of M83 with its dark throb of a bass line, subtle electronic stabs and references to the American dream. Rather like his previous work with Phantom Runners Fire To You definitely looks over its shoulders with an eye on the past – this time the mid to late 80’s rather than the early 90’s – but it’s done so well it’s impossible not to be impressed.
What did Bruce Springsteen say? You can't start a fire without a spark. From that spark here's Fire To You.
Adal - Fire to You featuring FREJA