London via Sweden’s Fanfarlo have been steadily bringing out a single a year for around three years now. Their debut album, Reservoir, has finally been unleashed and as expected, it has been more than worth the wait.
Their dreamy folk-pop is swaying and bounding, bristling with ukeleles, mandolins and horns. There hasn’t been an answer to Arcade Fire from these shores up until now, although Fanfarlo add their own cheery twist to it. Lead singer and creator Simon Balthazar sounds like he has stolen Ed Harcourt’s voice. Imagine that combined with what sounds like a constant beaming smile and you’re somewhere near the mark. That is if a smile had a sound, obviously.
They can do slow and pensive too, ‘If It Is Growing’ is a short lighters-in-the-air moment that is nudged along by Balthazar’s vocals and a lone trumpet line. Things return straight back to a marching bob-along with previous mouthful of a single ‘Harold T. Wilkins, Or How To Wait For A Very Long Time’ and your smile will grow as big as Balthazar’s.
Reservoir grows and gets better with every listen. ‘Drowning Men’ stomps through to surely leave festival crowds dancing in its wake and ‘Comets’ sways it’s way into a horn boosted jaunt, much like album stand out ‘The Walls Are Coming Down.’
Peter Katis, the producer of the likes of Interpol and The National, produced Reservoir but don’t rule out Fanfarlo to do exactly what those two have done since. The consistency and sheer joy of Fanfarlo makes it more than possible.
Words: Jack Philips