The first and second full-length releases of London's Fanfarlo
introduced us to the group's grand ambition to humor ears with creative instrumentation. With each member playing their own astounding number of instrumental roles, not a single track on Reservoir
(2009) nor Rooms Filled With Light
(2012) has ever been given a chance to mirror one of its peers. Every song emits its own Fanfarlo personality, and glimmers listeners with reckoned influencers. In a single listen, one can recall hints of Talking Heads, aromas of Okkervil River, and aftertastes of others that are all stirred through a resilient base ingredient of orchestral strings.
With the third Fanfarlo album, Let's Go Extinct
, due to release February 11th, we were tickled with curiosity regarding its making, and most importantly, what they themselves had been listening to during its recording. We asked the band's founder Simon Balthazar to put together a list of 10 songs that aided in their creative inspiration. In Simon's mix below, you'll find that it required a wonderfully eccentric combination of post-punk indie disco and Spaghetti Western scores to nourish Let's Go Extinct
1. "Inheritance" Talk Talk
I mean, really, all the late jazzy Talk Talk stuff...the atmosphere and heartache of those records is just brilliant. But this particular track we must have heard hundreds of times because the sound engineer we toured with for a good while used it as a reference track, so it would be blasting in every soundcheck!
2. "That's Us/Wild Combination" Arthur Russell
The Calling Out of Context
album is a wild drum machine and cello ride with swathes of delay on the vocals, and with a lovely homemade and unfinished feel to it.
3. "International Feel" Todd Rundgren
During our big family dinners in the studio kitchen we'd play each other records and Todd got a fair bit of rotation. The record A Wizard, a True Star
is a real gem, and this is its big single but the album really should be listened to as a whole.
4. "Starless" King Crimson
This will just be a representative for the almost mythical force of this titan progressive rock band, which, by all accounts, was terrifying to be a member of. Perhaps the best version of this track is a live version on French TV in 1974.
*This song is not included on the playlist. Sometimes Spotify stinks.
5. "When You Sleep" My Bloody Valentine
That swirly, bendy signature MBV riff is a reminder of how good out of tune can sound.
6. "Falling and Laughing" Orange Juice
Post-punk indie disco was GOOD in the 80s.
7. "Mission" Electric Light Orchestra
ELO have some really great pop songs but they are not afraid to do really far out things to them in their arrangement and production, so it makes great studio listening. In honour of them we named the label we created to put this record out New World Records.
8. "Sound And Vision" David Bowie
I could spend a lot of time just geeking out on the snare sound.
9. "Born To Go" Hawkwind
Hawkwind got a fair amount of rotation in the kitchen too, and we also watched Hawkwind documentaries together during our time in the studio. They have a sense of mischievous indulgence about them and a psychedelic punk spirit that's really infectious.
10. "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" Ennio Morricone
Okay, this track is a tad worn out, despite its brilliance; just thinking of it as a representative of the whole Morricone Spaghetti Western sound. Late at night, holed up in our temporary studio built up in a house in the Welsh countryside we found ourselves coming back to references to Morricone, with his surf guitars, flamenco trumpets and animalistic backing vocals.
Let's Go Extinct is due out February 11th on Blue Horizon. Watch their latest music video for the single "Landlocked" below.