Magic ‘Feathers’ takes Fanfarlo soaring on second album

Back in 2009, I remember somebody on Twitter posted a link to Fanfarlo‘s song “Finish Line,” comparing it to the Talking Heads and something else that I can’t recall. It was enough of an endorsement to make me go listen and I fell majorly head over heels in love with them. The album (Reservoir) wasn’t nearly perfect, but it did have its gems. “Luna” became one of those musical treasures that you cherish for eternity and “Harold T. Wilkins, or How to Wait for a Very Long Time” has a special place in my heart for its sci-fi whimsy.

Understandably, as the band readied release for its sophomore release, Rooms Filled With Light, I was waiting on the edge of my seat to be wowed once again by these London marvels. But even I did not expect to adore the album as much as I have. Only a couple of weeks since its anticipated release, I’m in the fullest depths of swoon over these tunes! Most of all, the bright, sparkling melodies of “Feathers” — over and over again.

Simon Balthazar’s voice is the aural equivalent of a Cashmere sweater: Luxurious, soft and warm. But it’s propelled with the strength of a warrior, powering Fanfarlo’s songs with its plush glory. Overall, Rooms Filled With Light is musically superior to Reservoir, and any fan of the latter will recognize everything they loved about it in the former. Creative, meticulous instrumentation coupled with dramatic vocal swells, all setting the songs aglow. “Feathers” certainly isn’t the album’s only high point, but it’s the one where everything came together in the exact right way for me. It carries Fanfarlo’s signature richness with a melody that’s instantly singable and a rhythm that concurrently makes me feel like dancing and laying back with my arms outstretched as I simply absorb it.

It’s fair to say that if “Feathers” was a feast, I would be in a disgusting, uncomfortable food coma right now, and I might die. But it is music! Which means that, yes, I am dying right now. I am dying over how much this song moves me. Every so often, in my life as a hardcore music fan, I go through lulls — nothing can excite me, hardly even some of my longstanding favorites.  And then “Feathers” happens, and it’s like watching a sky of gray clouds parting as the rays of the sun cut through the gloom and color the whole world in brilliance.

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