Music is like romance. Sometimes it’s lifechanging, sometimes it lasts a week or two and then fades out, and sometimes it’s dazzling and wonderful and something that you’d really just love to wake up next to and eat pancakes with. Hello FANFARLO, let me profess my love to you.
The new album from this London-based indie bouquet of wonderful is called Reservoir, and it is a striking and bold maturation from the single “You Are One Of The Few Outsiders Who Really Understands Us” (hypem) that I fell in love with so many years ago. There’s beauty here, you betchya, and better yet there are anthems to beauty. Anthems to being swept away by a driving rhythm, by the sounds of a marching band, by the elevating force of melody.
This albums downfall and success both lie in the fact that the sounds on this album are familiar — Arcade Fire is here, Beirut is there, and oh man! Is that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah over there?? Yeah, this band sounds similar to other indie rock bands. But let’s note that all three of those bands are something worth being compared to. All of them swooped in and stole our indie rock hearts and Fanfarlo has come along to heal the hole that is left when a band moves on from you. This band’s songs are intelligently and perfectly crafted into something beautiful, big, orchestral, and lush. And to nicely top it all off, they’re catchy. You can dance to this, you can jump rope to this, you can spin in circles to this. This band has taken the sounds of those we loved and knit them together into something all their own. Something worth taking home.
Remember “Elephant Gun”, Beirut’s testament to changes to seasons to dancing to parties? “The Walls are Coming Down” has the same effect, and sounds similar. It’s a theme worth following. (And hey! There’s a video available here!)
“I’m a Pilot”, the opening track, seduces you with what sounds like a slow marching band spinning through the Tundra. It’s pianos and violins are cold and sparkly but the crunching stomping beat is driving, deliberate, and determined. You’ll get swept away in blue icy dust, no doubt.
There are a lot of tracks available for listening on Fanfarlo’s website, as well as a number of videos from live performances. I’d suggest wrapping yourself in something comforting and beautiful and settling down for some Fanfarlo. Try not to get swept away.