August 20, 2009

Introducing: Fanfarlo and Dinosaur Feathers

(Fanfarlo performing live)

Fanfarlo is a London based group with heavy instrumentation along the lines of Arcade Fire or Sufjan Stevens playing everything from trumpet, violin, mandolin to whatever else they can find. Their debut LP, Reservoir, was released earlier this year and with the help of producer Peter Katis (previous work with The National and Interpol) they have made quite the first impression. Fanfarlo follow the orchestral pop laid out by Arcade Fire, The National and Sufjan and Ra Ra Riot. The music is unabashed, openly emotional and brilliantly layered with complex instrumentation. The first track, "I'm a Pilot" LINK, feels very influenced by Arcade Fire with its driving bass line and repeated piano just building and building to its climax. These songs have movements and layers and just seem to build and build. It's not quite Aracde Fire but it is a very strong debut and will sure serve to hold me over until another one of AF's releases. Also check them out playing the Troubadour on September 15th!

Dinosaur Feathers is a three piece out of Brooklyn playing experimental acoustic guitar driven jams like a combination of Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes (weighting these influences to varying degrees for each track). Like Animal Collective on their last album, MPP, Dinosaur Feathers have forged a pop sensibility out of their experimental madness and one that is uniquely their own. The results are on full display in their recently released EP, Early Morning Risers, which is available for FREE download on their website: The title track hints at their past work in an a capella group at Carleton College, but the instrumentation slowly builds to a chorus with gibberish, electronic loops and acoustic jamming (is that a kazzo?) that somehow blends beautiful. Other highlight so far for me has been "Parallel July".


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