July 14, 2013 11:30pm PT by Shirley Halperin
Cory Monteith Had U.K. Band Friendly Fires on Repeat: The Story Behind the Song
Less than a week before his death, Glee star Cory Monteith tweeted that he had one song on repeat: Friendly Fires' "Paris."
The upbeat, synth-heavy track comes from the British band's 2008 self-titled debut, released on XL Recordings (home to Adele and the xx, among other critics' darlings) and nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize. The song's lyrics point longingly at life in the French capital, with lines like: "One day we're gonna live in Paris / I promise" and "Every night / The city lights / They'll be out for us."
Singer Erika Forster of Brooklyn indie trio Au Revoir Simone, whose vocals are featured on the track, says she and her bandmates saw it as hopeful, even forward-looking. "It's a really universal song because it has a longing bit to it, but also this innocence," she tells The Hollywood Reporter. "It's really sweet -- the message of, 'Let's run away together.' "
When asked to sing on the track, Forster adds, she connected with the spirit of the song because of how it tied into the group’s name -- the "Simone" in Au Revoir Simone pays homage to the character in Pee-wee's Big Adventure who dreams of a life in Paris. "The story of our name went along with the song, and again as a symbol of love and running away together."
Forster, a Glee fan, says she first got interested in the show "from a musical perspective -- the fast turnaround, the song selection, the production and the choreography. … I’m always so impressed by that show." She also took note of the camaraderie among the characters, which she's certain extended to the actors off-set too.
Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the beloved Fox musical, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on July 13. He was 31 years old.
On July 7, Monteith tweeted a screen grab of his phone that showed he was listening to the remix version of "Paris," a song that Forster describes as having "a disco feel to it that has a really fun, positive dance-party vibe." It's not exactly what one would associate with feeling down or depressed, but that's the overwhelming emotion many thousands are no doubt experiencing right now -- Forster, who calls Monteith’s death "so sad," being one of them.
Friendly Fires, who are currently in the studio working on their third album, have yet to react to Monteith's Twitter name-check, but interest in the song has increased, as evidenced by comments on YouTube and other sites.
Au Revoir Simone's new album Move in Spectrums, is due out on Sept. 24.