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That Man Fantastic
Pop Songs for Art Films
Fantastic Songs

That Man Fantastic’s debut album Pop Songs for Art Films opens with sixties-style layered harmonies, though it’s less Tommy by The Who and more Petra Hayden’s a capella cover of same. Then the second track starts and you’re suddenly in a Spanish bodega, where flamenco-influenced guitars support lyrics that sound as if they’ve entered English from somewhere else: “I want to feel the love from you, my beautiful woman.”  By the fifth track, “Or All 6?” when you’re bopping your head along to a They Might Be Giants-style chant, you’re confused, enchanted and addicted.

Despite the band’s genre-hopping talents, many of the tracks on Pop Songs are boy-and-his-guitar-style love ballads. Stephen M. Duffy, the Manchester native behind That Man Fantastic, has a smooth, wistful voice, especially when crooning lyrics like “I don’t want to talk about your friends all night […] I just want you to think how much you still love me, or if you still do.” Take a glass of Pimm’s out on the lawn, put Pop Songs for Art Films on over the hidden speakers and feel all the tension leave your body.

Favorite Track: Track 1, “Second Skin”

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Kris Larson works as a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a degree in English Literature from San Francisco State University and reads an alarming amount of Edith Wharton in her spare time. She can be reached at, or you can visit her website at
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