Much has been said about the resemblance of Fanfarlo’s music to that of Arcade Fire and Beirut (See La Blogotheque’s article entitled “Plagiarlo”). In spite of the greatness of their first album Reservoir, (Tarquin Studios, released Feb 2009), produced by Peter Katis (producer of The National and Interpol among others), I for one certainly remained cautious about the expectations placed on this new British band, whose music resembled almost a Lego construct of Funeral and The Flying Club Cup.
That changed on Sunday (Sep 20, 2009), when I had the pleasure of seeing them live at the Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia, a small and very intimate though cool bar (<50 people guess) at Fishtown’s side of Philadelphia.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Fanfarlo’s music and their performance are facilitated by the use of textures and elements similar to those introduced by Arcade Fire. However, seeing them live, you came to realize that they do it in their own way, and although they also rely on the amazingly diverse musical ability of their members, they show new paths and bring more than a point to their music. You walk away from their show convinced that they are for real. And yes, their music makes you feel somehow just like you did when you first heard Tunnels or No Cars Go, but at the same time the feeling is unique, it’s fresh and all although familiar sounds new.
Fanfarlo’s music is efficient on delivering a message, one that does not belong to them or to Arcade Fire, or Beirut for that matter. A message that reminds you why you listen, and sometimes frantically search for new music, one that says “I am young” or at least, one that reminds you the reasons why you would like it to remain like that forever.
Listening to the horns, strings and percussions embedded in Fanfarlo’s music makes you believe that this could be somehow feasible, even when they sing “Out there somewhere is the Finish Line”.
Fanfarlo's last week show at KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic - Sep 17, 2009