Since wrapping up their spring touring stint with fellow Euros Snow Patrol, the London noisemakers of Fanfarlo have made quick work of breaking the U.S. market-and it’s no surprise as to why. This five-piece baroque pop act pens some super-lush build ups, as well as some downright danceable breakdowns (take a listen to “Ghosts” for proof). In addition, these Brits know how to market themselves. The band dished up their beautiful, self-released debut album, Reservoir, for the rock-bottom asking price of one dollar, for a limited time, via their Web site, fanfarlo.com.
Sonically speaking, the cuts that make up Reservoir lie somewhere between Belle and Sebastian, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Poignant and personal lyrics about self-discovery get the solemn, chamber-orchestra treatment in some places (“Comets”) and the slightly synthy, neo new-wave feel in others (“Fire Escape”). The highlight of the whole thing-and, fittingly enough, the album’s first single-is “The Walls Are Coming Down,” a piano-driven number that pairs trumpets, glockenspiels, mandolin, and clarinet with some seriously soaring vocal parts and violin leads. Overall, the album’s got that same “something’s happening” feel that came through on debuts like Arcade Fire’s Funeral and Interpol’s Turn On the Bright Lights, which certainly ain’t bad company to be in.
Funny enough, it was longtime Interpol producer Peter Katis (also known for his work with The National and Mates of State) who manned the mixboard for Reservoir, and his expert work definitely shows. The album captures the raw energy and over-the-top musical cacophonies that Fanfarlo’s live shows are known for, but a close listen unveils meticulous layer on top of meticulous layer of instrumental work.
This Friday, November 27, Fanfarlo head to Muddy Waters Cafe (508 E. Haley St.) to help you dance off the post-Turkey Day poundage with openers Freelance Whales and Rey Villalobos. The stop is part of the band’s six-week U.S. headlining tour in support of Reservoir, and we’re betting it will be a packed house. For details and ticket information, call 966-9328 or visit clubmercy.com.