With summery abandon and plain-speaking folk-pop melancholy, Fanfarlo creates a debut so preoccupied with squeezing every drop of pop out of its tunes that it is difficult to imagine what a second record might involve. While Simon Aurell’s breathy swoons augment the brilliant ensemble charmingly, it is that brilliant ensemble that charms the most. If you can pluck a string, Fanfarlo can strike it with more intent. If you can draw a bow across a string, Fanfarlo can make it sing. The lilt of “Fire Escape” is damn near irresistible, but the opening plod of “I’m a Pilot” seals the deal. Reservoir is as fine a debut as you might hear all year, but while the band’s sheer happiness to be playing music is unutterably apparent and serves it well, where can it go from here? The idiosyncratic approach and the sense that literally all its hearts went into the record could make it a single triumph for Fanfarlo.
// Notes from the Road
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