I remember back when the London-based band Fanfarlo first appeared on the music scene back in 2009. They kinda snuck up on everyone back then. Their debut record, Reservoir was able to capture and mix a lot of what was popularly defined as indie folk-pop back in the late 00s – eclectic musical instrumentation including lots of horns, whimsical literate lyrics, big swelling choruses and melodies, and a mournfully sweet lead from Simon Balthazar. It’s like if music executives could concoct what indie folk-pop should be in the 2000’s, Fanfarlo are it. Despite its formulaic description, Reservoir the album worked. It was roundly embraced by fans and a lot of the songs from the album went on to become popular singles . I for one, highly enjoyed the record.
In the in years since Reservoir though, a lot of things have changed within the band. First, the band shrank from a six-piece to five to finally its current leaner line-up of four. They also released a second record, Room Full of Light, that was colder and more cynical but not as well received as Reservoir. With their newest and third record, Let’s Go Extinct, though, Fanfarlo seems determined to go back to the signature sounds which gave them their start, while still striving for growth.
Let’s Go Extinct certainly finds the band straddling between familiarity and maturity. The new record finds Fanfarlo just as contemplative as they were in Reservoir. But in a lot of ways, they are less moody and just plain happier. Let’s Go Extinct as a whole, is dancier and even sheds the folkier elements of their earlier sound. It’s definitely an evolution for Fanfarlo and it’ll be interesting to watch where they go from here.
Fanfarlo are coming to St Louis. They will be playing at Blueberry Hill on 4/5 (tickets here)
Watch the video for single Landlocked embedded below.
Fanfarlo – Let’s Go Extinct comes out 2/10 via New Wold Records (order here)