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Fanfarlo - Reservoir


Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

FANFARLO are part of the new folk movement – but to write them off merely as such would be doing them an unjustice. Rather, their moody, beautifully evocative music has seen them impress as support for bands such as Snow Patrol.

They’re debut album, Reservoir, is really rather magnificent. Comprised of 11 tracks, it’s an appealing collection of songs that really deserves to put the band on the map.

Album opener I’m A Pilot immediately grabs the attention courtesy of its astute mix of distinct vocals and instrumental layering.

Musically, dusty pianos work well in tandem with violin strings and some rousing guitar moments to create a rich instrumental landscape, while Simon Balthazar’s moody vocals evoke comparisons with Talking Heads’ frontman David Byrne.

From there, it’s a pretty faultless journey. Ghosts works well from a funky bassline groove and some more fizzing strings, Luna picks up the pace and shows that folk acts can rock out when they want to, and Comets immediately slows things back down and wears the band’s tender side on its sleeve.

If the bigger moments have drawn favourable comparisons with the likes of Arcade Fire, then Comets owes much to the slow-burn, slow-build style of Snow Patrol, making it easy to see why they were chosen as one-time support.

Fire Escape is dripping with pleasing melodies and an upbeat, radio-friendly style that deserves to find a place on the mainstream, while horns, mandolins and acoustic guitars collide on the mesmerising The Walls Are Coming Down, one of the firm album highlights.

Drowning Men, meanwhile, posts a further reminder that they can do emphatic and grandiose in thrilling fashion, while If It Is Growing strips things back to calm, beautiful and utterly endearing.

Finish Line trades boy-girl vocals to seemless effect and is another easygoing favourite and Good Morning Midnight rounds things off in utterly charming fashion, while harking back to firmer folk territory and keeping it instrumental.

All in all, then, a brilliant debut album from a band that has very definitely arrived. It’s not up to you to seek them out and revel in their beauty.

Download picks: I’m A Pilot, Comets, The Walls Are Coming Down, Drowning Men, Finish Line

Track listing:

  1. I’m A Pilot
  2. Ghosts
  3. Luna
  4. Comets
  5. Fire Escape
  6. The Walls Are Coming Down
  7. Drowning Men
  8. If It Is Growing
  9. Harold T Wilkins Or How To Wait For A Very Long Time
  10. Finish Line
  11. Good Morning Midnight

  1. Hiya
    It’s about time these guys got the recognition they deserve, Nice review. It’s everything this site says and more.

    Jessie    May 26    #