in Review

Final Fantasy’s New Beginning

Owen Pallett – Heartland

I like how Colin does some serious posting so John and I immediately have to push him off the front page. There’s at least one more album worth talking about that I’ve listened to this year, and that’s the latest release from Owen Pallett, a.k.a. Final Fantasy. He decided to use his real name this time because the album’s coming out in Japan and he doesn’t want to get the shit sued out of him.

This is like the most indie album to which I’ve ever listened. Pallett, if the name doesn’t ring any bells, is like the go-to guy for alternative music string sections. He’s done arrangements for albums like Arcade Fire’s Funeral and Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House. As a solo artist, he is most famous for his use of his violin with one of those fancy pedals that lets him loop his performance as he goes, building essentially a whole orchestra by the song’s ending. Yeah, I don’t think I’d ever heard of him before either.

Well don’t worry, it’s not just violin on the album (maybe it’s not live either, don’t really know). Pallett uses plenty of electronic beats and synths along with more classical instruments. But the violin definitely comes to the forefront more often than not. I also found Pallett’s voice interesting, he sings so softly that most of the time I struggle to understand what he’s actually singing. The result was his voice becoming just one of the many noise-makers I was listening to, which is just fine.

Pallett is pretty ingenious when it comes to harmony and melody, and he imbues his music with a gentle energy that is quite a pleasure. The music is poppy, but at the same time feels almost classical. It’s pretty cool.

Favorite Tracks: “Midnight Directives,” “Lewis Takes Action,” “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt”