Dazzle Me This – Fanfarlo & Fanfare

Fanfarlo – It’s a bit of an odd name to both write and say aloud. It doesn’t quite seem to roll off the tongue or even look right to my eyes. There’s nothing odd about their debut album Reservoir though, it’s simply 40 minutes of pure, glorious, London via Sweden indie pop.

These guys formed in 2006, fronted by Swedish dude Simon Balthazar, a man whose voice rings in a strikingly similar vein to that of Beirut. There’s much use of trumpets and violins, and the whole thing has a rather grand and rousing feel to it. It must do, I just said “rather”, closely followed by “must do”.

It’s really just 11 tracks of lovely. I don’t feel like Fanfarlo are doing anything particularly ground-breaking or out of the box, but what they are doing, they’re doing very well. It’s equal parts sweeping and subtle and the five London-based band members make just the right use of their instruments, ranging from the glock and melodica to the mandolin and clarinet.

The hit picks for me include the steady loop-like opener ‘I’m A Pilot’, ‘The Walls Are Coming Down’, complete with a Houdini style character in the film clip and ‘Harold T. Wilkins’, in all it’s strummy and percussive goodness. Also, make sure to check out Fanfarlo’s MySpace site for a bunch of covers from the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and the Smashing Pumpkins.

I don’t think Fanfarlo are going to make any ginormous leaps and bounds with Reservoir, but this independently released album, which they apparently sold for just $1 on their official website for the first five months, certainly hints at a pool of talent and Simon Balthazar’s voice is just too glorious to keep under wraps for too much longer. Plus, I reckon these guys live would paint a completely different picture and that’s one canvas I’d very much like to see.

In mini-mix news, after giving this album multiple spins over the weekend, the rousing feeling coursing through my ears and veins led me to delve into my musical library in search of other muso’s that like a bit of the ol’ trumpet. Here’s what I came up with. Make sure you toot your own horn at some stage this week x

My Only Offer – Mates Of State
Trumpets and cymbals and xylophones, oh my! Plus heaps of colourful and shiny balls, Mates Of State are totally fanfare worthy.

[youtube TeVfiJ-ea6Y]

Hello – The Cat Empire
These guys certainly know how to rock a horn section. I’m uber excited to see them live in action at Days Like This! Festival in Jan 2010. Hello, hello indeed.

[youtube cO7cd1OzWJQ]

The Underdog – Spoon
Not content with using just one trumpet, this video clip features three horn players. In mariachi costumes. Need I say more?

[youtube AAEsSwoHuYU]

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