Æ: Aglet Eaters

The Fauns – The Fauns (2010)

Posted in Album, Review by R on July 19, 2010

I think this album is psychic.

I’m usually all about maximum feasible objectivity when discussing an album, trying not to let what I feel get the better of me and instead aiming to express what I think the music is meant to sound like. However, in this case, I am writing for myself, because The Fauns‘ self-titled album can read minds.

I remember feeling a bit low when I first played it. It’s a bit of a risk exposing yourself to a new piece of music when you’re in a negative frame of mind. Actually, it’s a bit of a risk exposing the music to you, because it might wind up irreversibly tainted by your black mood and beautiful shoegaze doesn’t deserve that at all.

Then again, maybe that is precisely why I subjected the Fauns to me. Already familiar with their brand of blisspop, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when they sympathetically enveloped me in their shimmery fuzz, understanding and forgiving me the mistakes I’d made that had put me in this sticky, muggy mood.

It was easy enough, of course, to zone out and drift along with the current. Before long, however an arresting phrase wafted in and out of focus. “Calm down/It’s going to be all right” it said. An involuntary public frown – it had vanished so quickly, maybe I’d imagined it? No, there it was again. I looked down to see what this windswept song was called making a note calling ‘Road Meets The Sky’ the Psychic Song.

Two tracks later, it was re-tagged The First Psychic Song when ‘Come Around Again’ dropped the unsettlingly sympathetic line “stay calm/no harm/will come/to you.

And when I listened to the album again, it was re-re-tagged One Of The Psychic Songs. This was when the incredibly, overpoweringly, so-very-genuinely supportive ‘Understand’ caught my attention with the disguised profundity in the simple lyric “When hope is gone/I’ll understand” –

Yet how could the Fauns NOT understand? They’ve been there and beyond. They know what you’re feeling because they’ve felt the same and they helplessly, belatedly reach out to you with ‘Fragile’ – the only moment on the album they devote to their own desolation. ‘Fragile’ is beautiful in its precision – through limiting each line to a two-syllable mantra, it manages to convey everything about a single sad instant – right down to what time of day of the week it is. Juxtaposing a phrase like “perfect/moment” seamlessly with “fragile/…broken” it is filled with tragic splendour. It closes with the same false disaffection that launched it, murmuring with a fatal sort of dejection “heartbeat/slowing” and finally “inside/broken.

Like I said, I usually strive to be neutral. But this album is a shape-shifting empath, therefore I can only offer you an interpretation of what it says to me. Hopefully, you hear what I do, in which case… phew – objectivity prevails.

Feel The Same – Millionyoung (2009)

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on July 11, 2010

Chillwave is a natural companion to shoegaze if you think about it. Both genres share the same fuzziness, the same distant, drowning echos, the same viscosity. Chillwave just happens to be slightly more synthetic – you can taste the chemicals that give it its flavour, while shoegaze is much more analogue – more silky. Nonetheless, they go together well. Which is why I don’t feel it is out of character to have a bit of a discussion about Millionyoung here.

Well, not even Millionyoung – just this one song by him. Being a relatively new genre, its proponents are a bit sparse with the albums and so you make do with just a smattering of tracks per artist.

So, yes, the song in question happens to be this tropical midnight number called ‘Feel The Same – it’s all about hollow plinkity-plinks with jingly percussion grated over it. Or that’s how it opens anyway: the parmesan synths tickling the back of your neck like friendly ants. Then something you assume is the bassline owing to its passing resemblance to the rhythm of a ‘regular’ bass guitar honks its lumbering way in offering its squishy brick wall support to the starry voice that’s been murmuring all this while.

It starts to cushion its pulse, showing itself to be more of a beat and less of a bass, and then the song morphs – the first transformation of three – into an unbelievably outer spacey 1980s guitar solo. Soon, this breaks up as well as it changes into a myriad of wah-wahs before the entire track collapses upon itself recapping its entirety in reverse order. By the time you reach the end, you’re right where you began, wondering if you just imagined the entire immobilising interplanetary journey.

PS: Click the image to download the Sunndreamm EP. Click here to download ‘Feel The Same’. Both totes legit.

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