Fanfarlo Celebrate and share a few intimate details about their new album Let’s Go Extinct.
“All the songs we’d written seemed to deal in direct or roundabout ways with the things that the theory of evolution tries to answer: where the hell are we, and where are we going next?,” says singer and main songwriter Simon Balthazar. “The weirdness of being this thing we call a person and the double weirdness of other people. So we set about dealing with the subject matter with all the flippant playfulness and childish seriousness it deserves.”
It was recorded partly with David Wrench at the band’s old haunt, the eccentric Bryn Derwen studio in North Wales. The band then took away the ‘tapes’ and set up studio in an isolated Welsh house that had previously stood empty for 20 years. This process gave them the freedom and time to let the record take its own musical shape.
Channeling the 50s electronic experimentations of Raymond Scott, Shadow Morton rockabilly filtered through Suicide, West Coast sacred cows Brian Wilson and Fleetwood Mac, a little prog rock here, a spaghetti western flourish there, a blast of ‘Young Americans’ soul all the way over there, the band take freely from their favourite music and the pantheon of cult artists.
“In a way we went a bit metaphysical with this one,” admits Balthazar. “We took inspiration from the theory of Panspermia and visions of post-apocalyptic London, as well as Kurt Vonnegut, Alan Watts and Miroslav Holub, neuroscience and love, because at the end of the day, you can listen to these songs as simple stories of love, hunger and loss.”
Fanfarlo have never been ones to dwell on the stock-in-trade of the rhyming dictionary journeymen. Instead of romantic leads there have always been UFO obsessives, outsider philosophers and lone visionaries in their central casting. But the songs on this record are expressed in such an irresistible palette of colour and form that you could thrill to them without ever unpicking its various Gordian knots and discovering the hidden joys within.
In the wake of recording of Let’s Go Extinct Fanfarlo has undergone another line up change: they are joined this year by Valentina Magaletti on drums. The band are completed by Cathy Lucas (violin, keys), Leon Beckenham (trumpet, keys) and Justin Finch (bass).
Let’s Go Extinct will be released in February 2014 on the band’s own label New World.