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The Fauns

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Album Review

That Fauns named a song after the peak year of shoegaze's first wave ("1991") says a lot about where they're coming from. The Bristol, England-based group's self-titled, self-produced, and self-released debut album showcases their skill at modernizing dream pop's classic sounds, from the brisk sugar rush of "Understand" to the delicate ballad "Fragile," which shimmers like a soap bubble. More impressively, they also capture the underlying emotions behind the music of the style's pioneers. Fauns' beautiful melodies and Alison Garner's inviting vocals create a more assured and sensuous atmosphere than many of the band's contemporaries, especially on the whispery afterglow of "Cool Stuff," which feels like a kissing cousin to My Bloody Valentine's "Blown a Wish." However, the band sets itself apart from its peers and influences with the gauzy keyboards that grace "Lovestruck" and the ambient leanings of "Black Sand," a looming track that gets more dense and intense with time. Indeed, Fauns' greatest accomplishment on their debut may be how skillfully they hold their listeners' attention on epic songs like the soaring "Road Meets the Sky" and "The Sun Is Cruising," which hints at the Krautrock explorations they pursued later. The band went in more adventurous directions on Lights, but those experiments wouldn't have worked as well without the solid, engaging foundation they built on Fauns. [Fauns was also released with a bonus disc containing five remixes.]


Formed: Bristol, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Bristol, England's expansive shoegaze quintet Fauns features vocalist Alison Garner (also a collaborator of post-dubstep producer Hyetal), guitarists Lee Woods, Elliot Guise, and Michael Savage, and drummer Tom Adams. The group released its 2009 self-titled debut on its own Laser Ghost Recordings label; while the album didn't have a publicity campaign behind it, word of mouth led to it selling 5,000 copies. Two of Fauns' fans included 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq, who championed the band on his show, and...
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The Fauns, The Fauns
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