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By the Warmth of Your Flame - EP

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Album Review

Following a stint as part of Broken Social Scene, John Crossingham headed into the studio to work on the next Raising the Fawn release. By the Warmth of Your Flame is a louder affair than the self-titled release, but that still makes it more restrained than most rock music: even though the guitars have been cranked up, they're pushed to the back of the mix, more like a bluesy, moody burble than ripping rock rifforama. Behind the mostly minimal percussion and Crossingham's clear vocals, the effect is often chilling, and reminiscent of Neil Young's Dead Man soundtrack (if that work had gelled into actual songs, anyhow). Both "Intro" and "Into Ashes White" are a slow build; "The Common Cold" shifts the volume back down again, and when "The Chicago World Expo" turns into a full-on Deep Purple-style keyboard-driven rock number midway through, the effect is all the more jarring. The final track, "Country Home," brings it full circle, with Crossingham's vocals backed only by banjo in a small room. Like the first album, the home-recorded closer has a certain intimacy that the rest of By the Warmth of Your Flame sacrificed somewhat in favor of atmosphere. If that sounds like a complaint, it's not, but it does show the band at a crossroads. Both sides of the Raising the Fawn sound are beautifully done, and whether this more studio-oriented effort serves as a jumping-off point for more of the same, or ultimately stands as an anomaly, it doesn't really matter — either would be welcome.


Formed: 1997 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Raising the Fawn originated around 1997 as a quiet, introspective bedroom project for Toronto's John Crossingham, who at the time was holding down a day job as a member of ThanatoPop. Eventually, Raising the Fawn was brought to stage and wax, becoming a full band with the aid of pals and self-issuing an eponymous LP in 2001. Recording sessions for a record called The North Sea followed, but soon after its completion Crossingham and bassist/vocalist Scott Remila were abandoned by everyone else in...
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By the Warmth of Your Flame - EP, Raising the Fawn
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