Thursday, March 01, 2012

Fanfarlo - "Rooms Filled With Light"

The London collective Fanfarlo are set to release their highly-anticipated sophomore album Rooms Filled With Light today on Canvasback/Atlantic Records.  Produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) the experimental new album takes on a different color palette with electric guitars, synths and saxophone taking prominence over the acoustic guitars and folk instrumentation of their anthemic 2009 debut, Reservoir.  The songs are just as bombastic and enthusiastic as ever though but with new found Talking Heads-like twitchy rhythms and instrumentation that only adds to the band's charm.

"Replicate" opens the album with soft chugging violins and bubbling synths that seem to produce the sound a virus replicating in our bodies might make which match singer Simon Balthazar's lyrics.  The charging and playful "Deconstruction" follows with a rubbery new romantic bass line and a soaring chorus.  Stand out track "Lenslife" features an off-kilter rhythm with marimba, an atmospheric ambiance and the introduction of saxophone to their mix.  Irresistible and danceable, "Shiny Things" is a bouncy slice of quirky pop like Talking Heads fronted by David Bowie.  Making great use of the trumpets and saxophone, "Tunguska" is a slinky mid-tempo number with jazzed-up soulful horns.  Another standout, the taut "Tightrope" may be the catchiest song on the album.  The tropical pop of "Feathers" features springy marimba and soaring strings.  "Bones" is aptly titled with ringing minor key synths and a chilling atmosphere.  The revved up "Dig" follows with gothy 80's inspired synths and a hip-shaking rhythm.  And the album closes with the close-knit harmonies of "A Flood" and the short intrumental "Everything Resolves".               

Adding colorful synths and samples seems to be the thing to do this year for all of these anthemic, ochestral pop bands (Coldplay, I am looking at you) but Fanfarlo pulls it off with enviable charm and grace without missing a beat on their excellent new album Rooms Filled With Light

Download "Shiny Things (Yeasayer Remix)" here:

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