Reservoir (02.09, Self Released)
Byline: Funeral-esque Baroque pop on the cheap. Thanks to Sigur Ros.
For: Arcade Fire, The National, Other bands like this
Sometimes it pays to be on a bands e mail list. Sigur Ros has never once let me down. Last week I received an e mail from Sigur Ros themselves! announcing that Fanfarlo is offering their album for a free download until it's physical release date in the states on July 4th. Turns out that the cousin of Jon Por Birgisson graces the cover of Reservoir, thus explaining the connection between the two. You owe yourself to download this album. Fanfarlo is the Swedish, by way of London, pen pal of the Arcade Fire. While nothing will replace the chills that I got listening to "Neighborhood 1- Tunnels", Farnfarlo pretty much nails the lush baroque-pop thing with the galloping, processional percussion, rich instrumentation of a well-endowed horn section, and the male-female, Winn-Regina point-counter-point dual vocals. There are some pretty spectacular moments that would be worth the price of admission if this album were full priced, their melodies twist and turn, singer Simon Balthazar croons and elongates his vowels while the martial percussion keeps time and occasionally breaks into a dizzying crescendo when all the players reach a height of ramshackle-anthemic chaos that a lot of self-aware bands these days strive for (I'm thinking the Annuals. ugh). Acoustic guitars play side by side with trumpets, recorders, accordians, etc... Fans of Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Beirut and other such artists that break from the standard guitar, bass, drums formula and deliver something truly exciting and worth listening to will be all over this. You have no excuse not to check it out. Highly recommended.