CD Review: Fanfario “Rooms Filled with Light”

With lighthearted, upbeat melodies, cascading guitars and experimental instrumentation, U.K.-based Fanfarlo’s sophomore release “Rooms Filled With Light,” features tracks that very easily could serve as a soundtrack to your favorite epic ‘80s flick. Hard to imagine? Then check out “Replicate,” available as a free download on the band’s website at Each track seems to complement the previous, progressing in a way that keeps the listener wanting more.

The indie pop band uses eclectic instrumentation, combining violin, mandolin, musical saw, clarinet, electric guitars and piano with almost ethereal background vocals.

Fanfarlo was formed in 2006 and released their debut album “Reservoir” on their own label Raffle Bat, later licensed to Atlantic Records. The five-piece band consists of Amos Memon (vocals, drums and percussion), Cathy Lucas (violin, keys, mandolin, glockenspiel, vocals, musical saw), Justin Finch (bass, vocals), Leon Beckenham (trumpet, keys, glockenspiel, melodica, vocals) and Simon Balthazar (vocals, guitar, keys, mandolin, saxophone, clarinet).

“Rooms Filled With Light” was produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Gnarls Barkley) and engineered by award-winning producer David Wrench (Bat for Lashes, Everything Everything, Beth Orton) at North Wales’ Bryn Derwen recording studio.

The band’s music has appeared on a variety of soundtracks in the past few years, with “Ghosts” from Fanfarlo’s debut album appearing on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Fire Escape” appearing on “House” in 2009. Standout single “Harold T. Wilkins” was featured on the soundtrack of the 2010 film “Going the Distance.”

“Rooms Filled with Light” starts out strong, with dramatic violin work that culminates in gripping vocals that demand attention. The band’s indie pop style sometimes sparks sounds reminiscent of ‘80s British pop/rock legends The Cure, particularly on “Deconstruction.” The following track “Lens Life” is filled with staccato keyboards and repetitive vocals sure to make you sing along. “Shiny Things” slows down the pace with steady keys and synthesizers keeping the vocals at the forefront of the track.

“To me, the record is really about what a weird and intense experience it is to just be alive and to try to make sense of the modern world with all its bewildering pressures and possibilities,” said lead singer Balthazar.

The album flows track by track through a musical journey that rides the line between indie pop and classic folk that will not disappoint.

The band is currently on tour and is making a stop at The Crocodile in Seattle on April 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $15 at


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