Faun Fables: “Light of a Vaster Dark”
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Morrow: Borne of principal songwriter Dawn McCarthy, Faun Fables is a powerful, somber, and multifaceted brand of neofolk songs and theatrical performance. The group’s works also are developed by co-conspirator Nils Frykdahl of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and their breadth of instrumentation comes courtesy of assorted guests.
Light of a Vaster Dark is Faun Fables’ first album in four-and-a-half years, and it again is led by the dynamic vocal interplay of McCarthy, Frykdahl, and others — blending elements of the 1950s/’60s American folk revival, medieval and Celtic music, and the catchall “psychedelic folk.”
Though McCarthy’s clear intonation and wavering vibratos are the real star, Frykdahl’s backing vocals add a necessary baritone presence, and the album’s range of sounds is just as vital. Guitars, violin, flute, bass clarinet, autoharp, Theremin, and homemade instruments all offer different sonic flavors behind a vocal presence that can sound a little homogenous from time to time.