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Fanfarlo is coming back to the States, and I think for this tour they’ve shape-shifted away from their past as a feel-good dance band with synths. The last CD sounded like it desperately wanted to cop the Bahamian junkanoo vibe that KC and the Sunshine Band rode all the way up to the top of the pop charts. Considering that Fanfarlo cobbled together an orchestra pit full of instruments (sax, violin, mandolin, glockenspiel, trumpet, clarinet, guitar, synth, bass, keys, and drums) in order to make their debut CD Reservoir, the new record, titled Let’s Go Extinct, sounds like leaner horn-driven stuff bordering on R&B. “Constantly changing but staying the same” is written on the band’s Facebook page.

Fanfarlo also labels their present sound architecture as “space opera meets spaghetti western,” which is to say everything and nothing. Indie pop/folk is where most critics go, and with the four-on-the-floor drummer, Fanfarlo is still heavy into the dance factor.

Past Event


  • Monday, March 24, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
  • House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Avenue, San Diego
  • $15 - $18

The band was formed eight years ago in London by a Swede named Simon Balthazar, the prime visionary in the group. It’s been slow going: in that many years, the band has released only three full-length CDs and an EP. And if each of them sounds different from the last, consider the band’s collective influences: Fleetwood Mac, King Crimson, Philip Glass, Todd Rundgren, Steve Reich. Fanfarlo carved out a respectable London following and over the years has managed to put together enough coin to tour the U.S. now and then. The band has a carefree exterior, but Let’s Go Extinct is a concept album that puts larger concerns, like human evolution, on the table: “I think of us when we were molecules/ sleeping in the dark is like a loaded gun/ waiting for reactions to occur/ planted like a seed into the ground/ it grew the strangest flower.”

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