Brooklyn’s Fan-Tan formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2006 when Indonesian expatriates Kuki and Sandee Kooks joined forces with Ryan Lee Dunlap. Intent on diverging from the college rock scene of the area, the band drew on influence of the Manchester, England music scene circa 1983. After adding Mike Walter on synthesizers, the group decided on the name Fan-Tan, an ancient Chinese gambling game that was repeatedly mentioned in much of the history of the American west due to the many Chinese immigrant laborers in area during that time, creating an “east meets west” connection similar to the band’s lineup.
Although Fan-Tan is an “east meets west” band on the surface, the true connection is an affinity for British post-punk and new wave. Haunting synth-pop hooks and soothing undertones underscore the emotional connection attributed to that sound, a sense of void filled musically within the soul’s cavity.
Their newest EP, The Age of Discovery (set for release in April), represents Fan-Tan’s self discovery as a band and the spirit of adventure and exploration that keeps the excitement within making music. Exhibiting a somewhat vague overtone in order to allow fans to create their own interpretation, the album does address devastating emotions and circumstances of life. The song “Earrings” contemplates the romantic side of being driven insane by the tick-tock of everyday life and “Good Men” is a meditation on the difficulty of settling into a romantic relationship. No matter what the future holds for Fan-Tan, their unique and morose melodies allow the group to reach fans on emotional level that most bands just can’t match. Recommended!
Fan-Tan - On Your Wall
Fan-Tan @ MySpace
SONG OF THE DAY: The Tallest Man On Earth - Burden Of Tomorrow
(from The Wild Hunt, out April 13th at Dead Oceans)
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