Every year during SXSW, we walk away with one band that stands out as the break-out success that should be just a few steps away from breaking here in the US. I mean, discovering new music is what SXSW is all about right? Well, although that may not be the case nearly as much anymore, we did find one band that has captured the attention of the entire Tripwire crew: Fanfarlo.
This six-piece indie-pop group from London quickly became a favorite of ours, and after meeting them here in Austin, we decided to make them an On The Cover artist for The Tripwire. We've already shown you one of their performances from our acoustic series, and we've got another one on the way soon. Cramming Amos, Cathy, Justin, Leon, Mark and Simon into our tiny studio within the Levi's/FADER Fort helped us get to know them rather quickly, who were great sports about recording in such a small space. In fact, it was bassist Justin who may have kept us from being trapped in a fiery inferno as one of our bits of equipment started to smoke. While the tape was rolling, he began to kick out his foot, which at first resembled a rock & roll dance move, but was in fact an attempt to alert us that things were smoking in the corner.
As for their music, Fanfarlo's brand of pop nicely fits in the realm of Belle & Sebastian, Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. With six band members, they are able to add in an eclectic batch of instrumentation (violin, trumpet, handsaw, etc) without ever coming across as overbearing or bombastic. From each word to every single note, each and every piece of the Fanfarlo puzzle fits perfectly. The music they create is about as close to pop perfection as you'll find anywhere.
Somehow they are still unsigned, although the band has released a handful of singles overseas on FortunaPOP, Fandango and White Heat. Exactly how they've managed to stay unsigned is rather mind boggling, but with all of the new friends they made during SXSW, we've got a hunch that they are now well on their way to getting things moving forward.
Over the next few weeks we'll continue to add content to Fanfarlo's On The Cover feature, including more acoustic performances, some downloads as well as drummer Amos' tour diary from their experiences here in Austin. We're a bit bummed that we weren't invited to hang out with them in Dripping Springs, but there is always next time! To get things started, here is our photoshoot with the band, which was taken by our good friend Daniel Perlaky of City On Fire. For a downloadable sample of their great music, you can also head over to RCRD LBL to pick up a free MP3 of their track "Sand And Ice." The link is below under the photo gallery. Enjoy!
Photos by Daniel Perlaky