The slapping of tongues and trilling of flutes! Can it be? Faun Fables are back among us...Born of the Sun.
Since 1998, Faun Fables has been the musical world of Dawn McCarthy, visited in collaboration with her partner Nils Frykdhal. In early times, their wild spirit roamed the streets and hills of the SF/ Oakland community while, pilgrim-like, wandering the world, and issuing two albums of deeply-rooted, swirlingly OTHER folk music in 1999 and 2001. With the release of Family Album in 2004, Drag City got involved, and The Transit Rider (2006) “A Table Forgotten” (2008), and Light of a Vaster Dark (2010) followed. All the while, the palette of Faun Fables grew plentifully in a rich and colorful succession of songs and sounds and visions.
Now, suddenly, it’s 2016. Six years have passed since Light of a Vaster Dark appeared —six years of dramatic, and yet everyday changes. Life has happened, in the form of three daughters born to Dawn and Nils over the last decade. Anyone who has spent time in the thrall of Faun Fables’ bewitching sound knows that this was the dream; beyond Dawn’s passion for song, dance, theatre and all manner of folklore (plus a regular regimen of yodeling), the mythic shadows of home and hearth, friends and family, have infused all of their expressions. Now, raising the family that was once only dreamed about makes for an earthier and more expansive Faun Fables album, informed by the slow and sudden progress of time that occurs when we are with the very young. Born of the Sun is in itself another birthing, the songs gestating over several years, then recorded mostly in concentrated periods over the past two winters.
On previous albums, the passions of Faun Fables seemed to be laid firmly on the stones of the Old World. The minstrels who cavorted across the cover of Mother Twilight seemed out of another, hard-to-place time—if not the early 70s, then perhaps the early 1700s? Dawn’s songs welled forth from an elementary fundament; a life lived in knowing intuition with nature, gathered in blood-based tribes, working in the light of day and playing music by the fire at night, against the cimmerian terror of myths and tales lurking in the darkness. Born of the Sun continues on in this exalted tradition, but also reflects the rhythms of family living, where each day is a new and irreversible step forward through the necessarily scorched earth of raising children.
Where Family Album and “A Table Forgotten” looked yearningly through time at the spiritual natures of communal living, Born of the Sun is forged in the crucible of NOW, and as such has a feeling apart from the previous days of Faun Fables. Riding along with Mother Nature, Dawn and Nils and the kids (whose vocals on “Wild Kids Rant” suggest they are following their parents’ path into the forest) are embracing the phenomena of creation as they move inexorably forward. Born of the Sun is the bountiful and exuberant album of this place and time—an old, candlelit world of arcane beliefs in our brightly-lit 4G world, growing ever more profound in the light of perpetual discovery that bathes all of Faun Fables’ songs.