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Faun Fables


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Experimental folk

Status:

Most recent release, Born of the Sun (2016)

See also:

Faun Fables site

Comparisons:

Mia Doi Todd, Sloan Wainwright, Kathleen Yearwood, Joy Eden Harrison, Iva Bittova in various ways.

Covers/own material:

Own, some traditional covers

General comments:

Her voice and style of singing seem strikingly like Mia Doi Todd. Both of them share some of the same range as Sloan Wainwright, but they have a different way with phrasing and a tendency to swoop up to higher registers. I also hear a touch of Kathleen Yearwood, particularly in her sparse, jagged arrangements of traditional songs, though they don't seem to be quite as dramatically reworked. I can also hear a bit of that jazzy slurring that Joy Eden Harrison likes to do. Only on one song did I hear Iva Bittova's vocal acrobatics. (neal)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:

  • Faun Fables (1999); reissued as Early Song 2004
  • Mother Twilight (2001; reissued 2004)
  • Family Album (2004)
  • Early Song (2004)
  • The Transit Rider (2006)
  • A Table Forgotten (EP, 2008)
  • Light of a Vaster Dark (2010)
  • Born of the Sun (2016)

Faun Fables

Release info:

1999—Hans Wendel Productions; reissued as Early Song 2004

Availability:

Contact hwendel@there.net

Ecto priority:

Moderate

Group members:

Dawn McCarthy—voice, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Nils Frykdahl—12-string electric guitar, flute, percussion guitar
Samantha Black—cello
Rob Burger—pump organ, chamberlin
David Cooper—vibraphone
Mark Orton—lap steel guitar

Comments:

It seems like I'd call her music Art Folk. It's generally acoustic and sparsely arranged, but seems somewhat mannered. It has a bit more of a rough edge than I tend to think of when I say folk, and titles like "The Muse", "A Lullaby for Konscious", "Ode to Rejection" and "The Crumb that got away" seem to be wondering into more literary territory. I'm notoriously inattentive to lyrics, and without a lyric sheet, it'll be months before the content of the songs sink in. Musically, Dawn has a deep husky voice that occasionally breaks into swoops and yodels. The disk has pretty sparse arrangements, usually with only a couple of instruments complimenting the vocal line. While not instrumentally dense, the music still manages to pull against the vocals, providing an interesting tension. And we even get a lively yodeling finale.
     It's an album that I really enjoy listening too, though it doesn't sweep me off my feet or startle me. It walks a bit in a no-man's land: not pretty or catchy enough for me to have the songs in my head, not haunting enough for me to be deeply moved, and not alarming enough for me to be unnerved. But it has a touch of all of those features. (neal)


Thanks to Neal Copperman for work on this entry.

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