Soon after delivering his acclaimed debut album Sirens, Australian singer/songwriter Ben Abraham experienced the most tumultuous period of his life, a time equally defined by crushing heartbreak and tremendous success. “I’d ended the longest relationship I’d ever had, with someone I’d expected to marry, and it set me off into a dark place where I was really questioning what I believe in,” says the L.A.-based artist. As he weathered the aftermath of that breakup and the ensuing crisis of faith, Abraham saw his career take off exponentially, a turn of events that included co-writing tracks like Kesha’s double-platinum, Grammy Award-winning smash hit “Praying.” In the thick of all that upheaval, Abraham created his sophomore album Friendly Fire—a selection of songs that speak to the undeniable possibility for rebirth after incredible loss and pain.
“Growing up in a very spiritual home, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of transfiguration: going from one state to another, more beautiful state,” says Abraham, whose parents are both pastors. “I feel like I went through my own transfiguration in the last few years, and these songs came from feeling like I was being set on fire—not to die, but to be reborn.”
His full-length debut for Atlantic Records, Friendly Fire spotlights the cinematic yet emotionally raw sensibilities that Abraham has previously shown in penning songs for artists like Demi Lovato, Macklemore, and The Chicks. In bringing the album to life, Abraham worked with producer James Flannigan (Dua Lipa, MARINA, Matt Maeson) engineer/producer Jason Agel (Bjork, John Legend), and mixer Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer) recording solely at Barefoot Studios (an iconic L.A. spot where artists like Stevie Wonder worked in the ’70s). “From the start I knew I wanted to make this album the same way that classic records were made—with just one production team, in only one space,” says Abraham. “It might sound like an obvious thing, but it’s really not how most people make albums these days.”
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