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Pop Meets Classical, Serious Meets Silly

Though he's best known as a member of The Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett also records as Final Fantasy.
Though he's best known as a member of The Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett also records as Final Fantasy.

Final Fantasy is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Owen Pallett, who first achieved notoriety as a member of The Arcade Fire. A student of Japanese culture and literature, Pallett makes music that marries the serious and the silly, informed by everything from Dungeons & Dragons to the songs on Top 40 radio.

Pallett's songs are Victorian fables made of spun sugar, strings and otherworldly effects, and Final Fantasy makes great use of samples and loops, particularly in multiplying Pallett's soft, frail vocals. The typical Final Fantasy song covers unusual ground: fascism in Japan, homosexuality and society, money and contentment.

"This Lamb Sells Condos" serves as the sonic equivalent of Chutes and Ladders, detailing the life of a greedy merchant and his idle wife. An angelic girl choir competes with a quarreling couple as violins and pianos spar in the background, while melody lines slide up and down, colliding and resolving in a giddy counterpoint. Inventive and unconventional, Final Fantasy pushes the boundaries of chamber-pop to new levels, building a delightful bridge between pop and classical music.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Kathryn Yu
By day, Kathryn Yu is an Interaction Designer working for a marketing firm in New York City, toiling away at Web sites. By night, she's a freelance photographer and live-music addict. Her photography has appeared in publications like Pitchfork,, Thrillist, Gothamist, and more. She often forgets to blog at, and is also making a movie.