wed 13/12/2017

CD: Fanfarlo - Let's Go Extinct | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Fanfarlo - Let's Go Extinct

CD: Fanfarlo - Let's Go Extinct

There are worse ways to go than to the sound of this glorious third album

Existential: the third album from Fanfarlo

It’s always difficult to know quite how seriously bands approach the things that distinguish between an album and a collection of songs: the naming, the sequencing, the artwork. For instance, I could say that “Life in the Sky” - the sprawling, six-minute epic that opens Fanfarlo’s new album - is the perfect microcosm of an album called Let’s Go Extinct: from the sounds it opens with, like whistles and whale song; to the melodic chaos the brass brings to its middle section; to the simplicity of its closing moments and the way that the song fades into nothingness. But it could just be that the band liked the provocative sound of the title.

It’s doubtful though, because this third album from the London five-piece is a thing of coherence and beauty, even as it tries to grapple with - or so frontman and main songwriter Simon Balthazar tells us - some of humanity’s biggest and most chaotic themes: evolution, the future and what it means to be human. Most impressively, it does this with melodies so pretty and choruses so stirring that they continue to catch the listener by surprise even on repeated listens, so incongruous they are next to the snippets of raw noise, ticking clocks and prog rock flourishes snuck in to open every song.

There’s so much going on here that the lyrics seem almost inconsequential: big songs like “A Distance” sneak in more than hints of some of those great Swedish indie bands, like Shout Out Louds or Radio Dept.; while “We Are The Future” and “Landlocked” rely as much on booming bass drums, clave blocks and soft echo pedals as Balthazar’s enigmatic vocals. And yet its hard to imagine any other voice melting quite as fittingly into the harmonies of Cathy Lucas, particularly on the expansive, dreamy title track that closes the album. It’s a difficult one not to get lost in, as the world turns and goes on without us.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Landlocked", directed by and starring the sisters of Sigur Rós' Jonsi


This third album is a thing of coherence and beauty

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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