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Fanfarlo: November 2009's Artist to Watch

Thanks to their soaring sound and down-to-earth songwriting sensibilities, London's Fanfarlo has been winning over audiences for years with their charming brand of indie pop-folk.

Led by Swedish songwriter Simon Balthazar, Fanfarlo formed in 2006 and steadily began streaming their music to the public while touring. In 2008, the group headed to the studio to record their first full-length album, Reservoir. Released earlier this year, the album's warming vocals and charming instrumentation marked it as an instant hit.

The band's style of indie pop feels nostalgically familiar (try hints of Neutral Milk Hotel and Beirut), but it still manages to be refreshing. The band's uplifting sound is captured by sweeping vocals and a natural knack for thoughtful melodies.

Songs like the lead track "I'm a Pilot" are filled with the same upbeat whimsy that originally made Fanfarlo an underground hit. In addition to the normal lineup of drums, bass, and guitars, the group employs an array of instruments ranging from keyboards and mandolins to horns. The result is sonically ambitious and emotionally engaging.

Recent Release: Reservoir
Release Date: February 2009
Label: Independent
Origin: London, UK