Si eres un aficionado al Shoegaze, Lights es tu disco. Lights es algo así como un compendio de lo mejor que el movimiento ha dado a la historia del Pop. Un resumen perfecto de muchas de las tendencias que el Shoegaze nos ha ofrecido durante las últimas tres décadas.
El segundo álbum de The Fauns es un disco redondo, soberbio, de sonidos puros, de homenajes, de reminiscencias y referencias más o menos claras: Noise (Nothing ever), Dream a lo Cocteau Twins (Lights), o de factura electrónica (Point zero), Kraut (4am), Emo (Ease down). A bandas de referencia como Yo la Tengo (Let´s go)…
Disco de amplias miras, panoramas abiertos e influencias diversas. Un gran trabajo.
“Lights is the successor to The Fauns‘ self-titled debut album released through their own Laser Ghost Recordings label in 2009. With no promotional muscle, they went on to pick up radio support from BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq and shift over five thousand copies purely by word of mouth. The organic success of The Fauns also garnered a valuable champion of the band in the form of Hollywood soundtrack composer Clint Mansell, (Moon, Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream) who remixed the album cut ‘Fragile’ for a limited edition Record Store Day 12”, all 1000 copies of which sold out in under a day.
Co-produced by well-respected Bristol figures Jim Barr and Tim Allen along-side the band’s own Michael Savage, Lights pits the barely-there vocals of front-woman Alison Garner against guitar work which is by alternate turns both all-consuming and intimate. Whilst the shoegaze-indebted elements of the band’s sound still shimmer as brightly as they did on The Fauns, Lights finds them imbued with new purpose-see the instrumental squalls which punctuate album stand-out ‘Seven Hours’, or the interlocking guitar figures of ‘4AM’, resonating with the atmospheric tendencies of the XX.
Michael Savage’s exhaustive knowledge of film & sound-tracking permeates Lights; ‘Point Zero’ and ‘Rise’ are sequenced as ambient episodes in homage to the astral soundtracks of Moon and Solaris (created by band heroes Mansell and Cliff Martinez), whilst elsewhere a rather more overt nod is made to film scoring with the motor engine-sampling crescendo of the Tron-esque ‘Let’s Go’ (Press)
“Bristol based six-piece The Fauns however, are far from being mere copycats of some well-thumbed blueprint. On closer inspection, the band draw from a broad and interesting array of related influences from the Cocteau Twins to late 80’s jangle pop. Second up on The Fauns eponymously titled debut is ‘Cool Stuff’ a mid-paced wash of symphonic keyboards akin to late 80’s Sarah Records bands such as The Field Mice or East River Pipe. Likewise, ‘Understand’ is a delightful cover of a lovelorn indie classic by Brian from the post-Smiths jangle-pop era. Faithful in it’s execution, this version is not too dissimilar from the original, yet somehow fits seemlessly into this very different aural environment.
Personally speaking, I believe that musical ‘vision’ usually makes for better creativity than merely being a good musician. The Fauns, I’m glad to say, are living proof of this. Their story began two years ago, starting simply as one-man-and-a-laptop, a bedroom-based vision by Mike Savage, a musical novice who had never played an instrument in his life! His acute vision though, quickly grew into a fully fledged band. Now, just two years on from one man’s humble spark of enthusiasm, The Fauns are set to release their rather impressive debut perfectly timed to meet the renewed interest in their genre.
Fronted by the heavenly singing of Alison Garner, lyrical depth is dropped in favour of phased, amorphous melodies buried behind layer-upon-layer of warm, fuzzy guitar, giving the vocals a dreamy and laconic ‘voice-as-an-instrument’ vagueness. The drums are also buried low in the mix, allowing the guitars to soar to towering heights in a sonic musical landscape of uplifting etheral numbness.
Further into the track-listing, the dynamic instrumental ‘Black Sand’ delivers sonic chasms of depth contrasted by a top layer of floaty drum noodling akin to the Canadian post-rock of Do Make Say Think. Sending the album to a triumphant climax is an epic fifteen minute ‘hidden’ instrumental, a remix that steers the listener into another musical territory – ambient electronica. Here, layers of hypnotic hum slowly fill the stereo field delivering a sizemic colossus of drone. Think early Warp artists such as Seefeel or, more recently, names from the Kranky label roster such as Stars Of The Lid and you’ll be getting warm. This remix comes courtesy of Robert Hampson, formerly of veteran drone-rockers Loop. It’s as good as anything else currently on offer in the ambient genre, and to that end, my only fear is that fans of pure electronica could well miss out on discovering this exceptional example, discreetly tagged on the back of a mostly guitar-based album.
Reassuringly, The Fauns don’t suffer from the middle-class pretention and overblown studio budgets that the original British shoegaze scene was often saddled with to it’s detriment. By contrast, The Fauns have deftly executed a well produced album themselves on a modest budget. Laptop technology combined with ‘proper’ band personnel have successfully engaged to create a highly promising eleven track platter that points as much to the future as it does to the past” (bristolrocks.co.uk)