A university trained pianist/composer and self taught violinist, Owen Pallett is now an indie Canuck punk getting a lot of indie-centric online pixel space. Going by the 'way too computer/video game related' nom de plume, Final Fantasy, he is also a prime member of Canadian indie band, Les Mouches, and sometime collaborator to mp3 blog darlings, The Arcade Fire (being responsible for Arcade Fire's string arrangements on their disc, Funeral). Pallet has also been working with Toronto's Hidden Cameras and Three Gut Records artist, Jim Guthrie; and recently released his own work, titled 'final fantasy has a good home!!!!!!!!!! 'on Toronto's own Blocks Recording Club.
Having been privy to only a few songs off the disc, of which, "The Dream of Win and Regine", "Furniture", "The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead", "Please Please Please", and "Adventure.Exe", are sitting on my own hard drive; I am for the most part disappointed by what I am hearing. So much so that I didn't think twice at passing up the opportunity to catch Pallett live just this past week. But I have to say "Please Please Please", with it's stuttering martial beat and it's ecstatically shouted, Please! Please! Please!, builds nicely and isn't half bad.
From what I have read, when performing live his music is built on playing violin over pedal loops he records(gimmick) and his singing. On the new recording he adds full band arrangements to his trusted and reliable fiddlin' and his, oooh... not so reliable singing. While many indie bands flaunt strange, eccentric, and self-aware vocals-- Pallett's vocals are none of the above. His voice is thin, weak, and presents the slightest resemblance of character on the song, "Furniture", and yet, oddly, it is somewhat more pleasing on "The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead" and "Please Please Please". On the positive side I will say this, the music I have heard is interesting, but is not ground breaking-- it seems the method of delivering the songs is more impressive than the songs themselves. These songs don't bring any word to mind as much as jaunty. Jaunty indie chamber pop, without the chamber-- a curious mix of Broadway song and dance, classical, indie artistry, and at times a megaphoned 1920s crooner.
As for the name, Final Fantasy... the word 'fantasy' is defined as, imagination unrestricted by reality . Well, Pallett's music is most definitely restricted by the reality of his vocal talent-- as for his imagination, that doesn't seem to have been held back by this limitation-- although my overall view could change if or when I finally get a chance to hear the entire disc... but I doubt it.
The Final Fantasy? Let's hope not.
Go here to download one track
If you find any more popping up in the blog-o-sphere, let us all know in the comments. thanks.