The London-based five-piece has been gaining traction in the US since their set at 2009's SXSW, but an inspired CMJ performance and the October release of their debut LP, Reservoir, have poised the folk-fused indie Brits for an American takeover. Described by critics as the ultimate fusion of The Arcade Fire, Beirut, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Fanfarlo's music blends the finest elements of the first half of indie's decade to create their own unique and striking sound. And they are anything but an amalgam. Reservoir journeys across diverse musical landscapes and showcases Fanfarlo's knack for writing intellectual, yet deeply passionate, lyrics, and firmly establishes the band as masterful storytellers. The album is replete with historical characters whose obsessive passions collide the opposing heart and mind, and it's this tension – between emotion and reason – that sets the band apart from their notable predecessors.
"Fanfarlo play a friendly and warm mix of often ornate and melodic rock/folk/pop that for me brings to mind what The Waterboys might sound like if they were influenced by Arcade Fire," says Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming for WXPN. "They don't sound like much of anything out right now in terms of style and genre."
Warren added, "They remind me a little of Okkervil River and a little of the artsier, more intricate side of Talking Heads. It's original sounding yet familiar at the same time, and the record is deep with fantastic songs."
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month's featured artist, click here.
The XPN Artists To Watch series reflects WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio's most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O'Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, Y-Rock On XPN as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.