New Final Fantasy – “The Butcher” & “Ultimatum” (Stereogum Premiere)

Unpredictable violinist and videogame fan Owen Pallett, aka sage advice giver, aka Final Fantasy, has cobbled together a pair of excellent post-He Poos Clouds EPs due for release this fall. The first to arrive is the five-song Spectrum, 14th Century, which finds OP collaborating with Beirut on “fake fields recordings.” Like last year’s “Hey Dad” 7″, it was recorded during the Flying Club Cup sessions. Pallett tells us he and “the entire corpus” of Beirut went outdoors in Quebec where “Zach led the group in some percussion stuff and I got the four brass players (Zach, Jon Natchez and the Pratts) to be choral for a bit.” We’re also told, lyrically and sonically, it’s meant to depict/map-out the fictional land of Spectrum. Think steel drums overlapping with bird songs, wood percussion, cricket chirps, horns, and Pallett’s gorgeous string arrangements. Or just take a listen to lilting, chirping “The Butcher.”

Final Fantasy – “The Butcher” (MP3)

The second EP, Plays To Please, finds Pallett paying homage to fellow Torontonian Alex Lukashevsky, his group Deep Dark United, and his unique, endearing personality. On it, six Lukashevsky originals are reconfigured for a 35-piece big band, the Toronto-based St. Kitts Orchestra (which includes Drumheller’s Nick Fraser, Paul Mathew of the Hidden Cameras, and a whistling Andrew Bird, among others). “Ultimatum” offers an idea of what to expect.

Final Fantasy – “Ultimatum” (MP3)

On Plays, “Ultimatum”‘s edginess blends into the smoother glide of “Moodring Band” and the scissoring “I Saved A Junky Once,” like Gershwin updated via Lukashevsky’s eccentric nun, bawd, and Jackson Pollock-referencing lyricism and Pallett’s avant compositional sense.

Spectrum, 14th Century is out 9/30 as a CD EP and 10″ EP in an edition of 1,000 via Blocks Recording Club.

Part of Slender Means Society/States Rights’s seventh Pregnancy Series, Play To Please is out 10/21 in CD EP edition of 1,000 via Slender Means Society and States Rights and as a 10″ EP in an edition of 1000 via Blocks Recording Club.

Keep watch for additional info at and FF’s MySpace. Owen’s playing live this weekend and beyond. He tells us the weekend sets will be made up “almost entirely” of new songs, so memorize the above and head out to the club:

08/27 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall $
08/30 – Victoria, BC @ The McPherson Playhouse (Rifflandia Festival)
08/31 – Seattle, WA @ Seattle Center (Bumbershoot)
09/14 – Porto Alegre @ Santander Cultural
09/17 – Sao Paulo @ Projeto Solitude II #
09/18 – Sao Paulo @ Projeto Solitude II #
09/20 – Recife @ No Ar Coquetel Molotov Festival

$ w/ Nico Muhly plus Sam Amidon and Doveman
# w/ Colleen

[Photo by Ryan Pfluger]