Dusted Reviews

Faun Fables - A Table Forgotten

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Faun Fables

Album: A Table Forgotten

Label: Drag City

Review date: Jul. 22, 2008

Dawn “the Faun” McCarthy, whose feathery voice and arcane convictions steer Faun Fables through will-’o-the-wisp numbers that are more Old World than New Weird, has thus far failed to magnetize the attention like her labelmate Joanna Newsom. McCarthy doesn’t look like a saucy wood elf or play harp, but her sonorous storysongs elevate the mundane to the magickal with an effortlessness that should be the envy of any freaky troubadour – male, female or epicene.

McCarthy’s tunes aptly channel the animist urges of our fog-shrouded past – a time, place and perspective where ordinary household items like teakettles were invested with a kind of occult volition. Faun Fables’ songs are wholly inhabitable, with nooks and crannies that, like dream architecture, feel foreign yet familiar. You get the impression that Whole Foods-shopping progressive urbanites aren’t the target audience for Faun Fables’ new EP, A Table Forgotten – McCarthy is singing to the aether here. Still, her transmissions give us brief entrée into a beguiling musical otherworld where notes are good medicine and stories offer all the nourishment a soul requires.

Faun Fables also features Nils Frykdahl of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, who plays Pan in McCarthy’s heathen passion play. His role is more subdued on this EP, with turns on woodwind and the occasional baritone vocal. But he remains important to the band’s dynamic – while McCarthy scrapes the heavens, Frykdahl’s gravitas keeps the band rooted in muddy but fertile earth.

So basically, we have a Goddess and her horned male counterpart holding court as their subjects pluck, thwack and strum sundry instruments for their pleasure. A kind of cognitive dissonance can occur if the musical spell is broken by, say, a garbage truck backing up underneath your window. But like the idolatress that conjures them into being, McCarthy’s songs are too compelling to not return to. Witchiness doesn’t wear this well on everyone. Eat your harp out, Newsom.

By Casey Rae-Hunter

Other Reviews of Faun Fables

Family Album

The Transit Rider

Light of a Vaster Dark

Read More

View all articles by Casey Rae-Hunter

Find out more about Drag City

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.