The title of British alternative dance band Friendly Fires' second album Pala is a reference to the doomed utopia of English writer Aldous Huxley's novel Island . "I like the idea of being in a paradise but ultimately knowing it's all going to end," frontman Ed Macfarlane told Q magazine.
Published in 1962, Island was Huxley's final book. It is the account of Will Farnaby, a cynical journalist who is shipwrecked on the fictional island of Pala, where parrots whisper uplifting messages to the islanders. A colorful parrot is featured on the cover of Pala. "We wanted to pinpoint it to something that's key to what the record is about, and the parrot being on the cover is part of Huxley's novel - there are parrots on the island of Pala who are trained to encourage people with uplifting messages. So we thought 'Great - let's do that for the cover,'" Macfarlane explained to NME.
Macfarlane had some doubts about the track. He told NME it was, "the slowest track we've ever done. Very stripped down. The drums are actually made of wind up toys and cameras rolling on film. Your brain is thinking, 'This is good' and then another part is thinking, 'But is it Friendly Fires? Is it dancey enough?'"