Fanfarlo – Rooms Filled With Light

written by: March 15, 2012
Release Date: February 28th, 2012


In Fanfarlo’s sophomore release, Rooms Filled With Light can be sized up as the more mature older brother to the band’s Reservoir (2009). With time came progression, and it came with the band’s sound, style and tactics toward creating great music.

The tactic used here, for example, works stealthily to increase the momentum and build a boost in energy that steadily rises until singer Simon Balthazar’s final breath. The backing band rides along with it, working together exciting mixes every step of the way.

Not much else in the world of music today sounds like this. Fanfarlo’s British flare plus an indie-pop kick propels band members forward as each song connects to the next, often with trumpet sounds roused in many songs en route to success. Fanfarlo’s contemporary edge resounds somewhere between DeVotchka’s and even Arcade Fire’s sound with the use of synth, violin and electric guitar. Perhaps The Smiths were an influence, too. Or maybe that’s just the accent taking over.

Fanfarlo’s occasional implementation of a female vocal is just like how Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire rides the same melodies as the chorus of the main vocalist (and sometimes takes turns) but rarely takes the harmony. Taking the tandem part is something we hear too seldom, and this band reminds us what the simplicity of two vocals singing the same part can actually add to a piece of work.

“Feathers” gains pressure with a high-pitched guitar melody after a short rut in Rooms Filled With Light’s pace before it ultimately stuns itself into breaking down into a stripped male-female vocal in the bridge. Switching up the instruments is easily the backbone to Fanfarlo’s second album.

It doesn’t lose steam, either, even when the pace is slowed to accompany more downhearted melodies. The strength is steady throughout Rooms Filled With Light, especially as a surprise closes out the set: a half-minute-long chime douses the fire with the same bit of charm that ignited it at the beginning of the set.

“Shiny Things” and “Digs,” at varying points in the set, are songs you’d want to play for a loved one. Try it out and let us know how it works.

With that being said, the band’s efforts do get lost a bit amid indie-pop gems and charming digital wonders. Some glide by unnoticed, putting a shameful amount of effort to waste as they fall under the shadow of more ear-catching tunes.

Fanfarlo’s melodies and harmonies make it easy to see why its a common pick for narratives like the ones on TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House” and in films like Twilight: Eclipse and Going the Distance. The lyrics might not stand out particularly, but that makes it easy for listeners to fill in the story with their own along the way. Although this canvas may seem empty and vague, it is actually vast enough to possess the quality that listeners can find strength in the present lyrical work and wide capabilities of their composition.

Fanfarlo – Rooms Filled With Light trackist:

  1. “Replicate”
  2. “Deconstruction”
  3. “Lenslife”
  4. “Shiny Things”
  5. “Tunguska”
  6. “Everything Turns”
  7. “Tightrope”
  8. “Feathers”
  9. “Bones”
  10. “Dig”
  11. “A Flood”
  12. “Everything Resolves”