The Fauns: Lights (Invada Records)
LP / CD / DL
Invada signed, Bristol based shoegaze and noisepop outfit The Fauns have been receiving a fair bit of air play across the beeb of late, most notably on 6 music. Today is release day for the band’s sophomore album, Lights, one that sees them building on the undeniable success of their debut. Simon Tucker reviews.
Lights is an album full of romance and yearning, hope and heartache, lust and shame. The half-whispered vocals of Alison Garner give Lights its warmth and heart, whilst layers of noise threaten to envelop her. Fans of the shoegaze genre will probably be already aware of The Fauns as many of the sounds and structures on Lights fit comfortably with albums from that genre’s heyday.
Unfortunately, the first section of the album fits too well into that shoegaze category and, in places, seems too generic, offering nothing new. Point Zero, Seven Hours, Ease Down, and In Flames melt into each other making it slightly difficult to distinguish one track from the other. The tunes are good, but a bit too familiar. However, when Nothing Even introduces us to a slower rhythm, sludgy even, the album starts to come alive. The ubiquitous wall of noise is stripped back leaving more room for the instruments, allowing the listener to get deeper into the music.
The rest of the album continues in this more experimental fashion with songs ranging from instrumental (Rise) to pure romantic pop (4am) and riot-grrl riffing (With You).
The aforementioned 4am is a real highlight. A beautiful ode to those early morning hours when your thoughts can run away from you, the song truly is stunningly evocative. Let’s Go and Give Me Your Love close Lights with a return to the opening feel and sound of the album, but because of what has just preceded these tracks they feel like an adrenalin shot to the heart sending the listener away with a pure pop hug and a desire to tell your significant other exactly how much you love them.
The only thing letting it down is the running order which, with a bit of rearranging, would have made the album flow better, thus adding a more a dynamic feel. Having said that though, Lights is an album made with heart and passion and it’s a perfect tonic for the coldness that is winter.