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Light of a Vaster Dark

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iTunes Review

Faun Fables weave together strands of British and American folk with Eastern European and gypsy music to create an intriguing aesthetic on their fifth release. Light of a Vaster Dark is a song cycle about the changing of the seasons and how it affects day-to-day life, and the lyrics are coherent enough to follow while still retaining a adventurous and mysterious quality. Not quite freeform yet not exactly structured either, some songs sound centuries old, some (“Housekeeper,” “Parade”) are closer to dark, moody country rock, and others feature atonal passages and eerie soundscapes. Overall the balance is cleverly and beautifully done. The poetic lyrics incorporate pagan imagery and mysticism along with observations on motherhood and domesticity to create an intriguing world of its own. The primary members of Faun Fables are Dawn McCarthy and Nils Frykdahl (also a member of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) and they are supported by talented musicians on a range of instruments including violin, bass clarinet, flute, upright bass, guitar, harmonica, and assorted percussion.

Customer Reviews


This is at once one of the strangest albums I've ever heard, and one of the most amazing! It's a strange somewhat medieval-feeling melting pot of traditional Western folk music and a decidedly more Asian/African flair. The percussion and vocals dominate most of the tracks, with eclectic strings and psychedelic textures sneaking in on others. Each song has rich composition, unpredictable melodies, blended harmonies and edgy, dramatic soundscapes. I literally cannot recommend this more, and that's after only one listen!


This album is absolutely beautiful. Each album from this group seems to have a unique sound and personality all its own, and together all of the Faun Fables albums reveal their broad and experimental, yet familiar sound. Always fresh and new, yet carrying an old mystical feeling. This album follows through. I love the new instruments that are used on this album. The violin sounds great and the bass clarinet adds a deep growl to several tracks. Also the harmonica added a new flair to the music. All of this is well constructed and carefully put together and the result is a very cohesive album. HIGHLY recommended.


Formed: 1997

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Spokane, Washington-raised artist, dancer, and songwriter Dawn "The Faun" McCarthy formed Faun Fables in 1997. After a self-released debut, 1999's Early Song, her powerful voice, penchant for performance art, and British folk-infused rock with lyrics steeped in pagan imagery attracted the attention of Nils Frykdahl (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum). Frykdahl became a frequent collaborator, appearing on 2001's Mother Twilight. The following year, McCarthy premiered her musical The Transit Rider, with the...
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Light of a Vaster Dark, Faun Fables
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