June 15, 2009


Hey guys! This weekend was awesome! We had a super fabulous time playing The Northside Music Festival and seeing a million amazing bands. This week, I’ll try to focus on some of the best artists I saw. But today, let’s stick with tradition and unwind from the weekend of killer music with Monday Mail:
What is Monday Mail?

Lauren from Sneak Attack says

There is no doubt that all of Fanfarlo are clever, bookish coves, but when they come together to make music, they function on a gut level.
For a band that comes from all over – frontman Simon Balthazar is himself from Gothenburg - there is that restless, furtive artistry. A keenness to avoid the constraints of home, battling with the longing of the heart…

A little extra research proves that this London-based outfit was produced by Peter Katis, who also produced Interpol and The National (respectively, one of my favorite Joy Division rip-offs and one pretty marginal Joy Division rip-off, although I know some friends will disagree). Fanfarlo doesn’t sound derivative of Joy Division at all, much to the relief of all of us who fear this sound, which was so forward-thinking at one time and has now become so bland. The fact stands, homigos--we can’t all be Ian Curtis. In fact, I think only Ian Curtis was actually Ian Curtis.

What we get instead is plenty of distinctive sounds, winding melodies and dynamic shifts in tone. Oh yeah, and some horns. And a saw. You got me, guys, you totally got me.

Besides being from Jens Lekman’s hometown, Simon Balthazar also has a nice voice. The way he sings his vocal melodies isn’t too far off of a more controlled and deeper Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (who, in turn, owes much of his style to Gordon from the band featured in the previous post). I can appreciate this, since I like this style but enjoy the more reigned-in version, for the most part.


Pre-July 4th, you can get Fanfarlo’s first album for just one buck. Whoa, now. For a UK-based band, that sure is American. Details here.

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