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Monday, January 11, 2010

Fancy Pop, Tomorrow at the Whistler

Posted By on 01.11.10 at 02:27 PM

The Fancy (from left: Cimini, Young, Garrison, and Latham)
  • The Fancy (from left: Cimini, Young, Garrison, and Latham)
The Fancy is a New York orch-pop quartet led by singer-keyboardist Seth Garrison and singer-guitarist Clara Latham, who also wrote all the songs on the group’s self-titled five-track debut. But Chicagoans might recognize the other half of the band, responsible for the orchestral part of its sound: bassoonist Katherine Young and violist Amy Cimini, both adventurous classical players who established themselves as improvisers and experimenters while living here in the mid-aughts. (Young is also a former Reader employee.) They both play in the forward-looking chamber group Till by Turning, and Young is a member of Anthony Braxton’s Falling River Quartet, alongside trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum and guitarist Mary Halvorson.

On the EP the band is joined by drummer A. Craig Bray, who gives the hooky tunes some extra oomph, but the band’s elegant melodies would be just as catchy without him. Piano and guitar provide the main propulsion, and the precise, nimble lines of Young and Cimini add real depth and richness. Plus when was the last time you heard a rock band where every song gave prominent roles to bassoon and viola? Even the tunes that sound a bit saccharine and hyperactive for my tastes (in a Ben Folds kind of way) are undeniably well-crafted.

The Fancy make their local debut Tuesday night at the Whistler. Roommate, with whom both Cimini and Young have played, headline.

photo: Matthew Billings

Today’s playlist:

Komeda Project, Requiem (WM)
Annette Krebs and Rhodri Davies, Kravis Rhonn Project (Another Timbre)
Stefano Bollani Trio, Stone in the Water (ECM)
Ulhas Kashalkar, Sparsh (Sense World Music)
Glenn Jones, Barbecue Bob in Fishtown (Strange Attractors)

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