22 June 2013

Faun - Renaissance

About 4 months ago I sent out a request to my friends for albums to review and one of them as me to look into Faun from Germany.  Musically they mix traditional folk, medieval and some gothic elements together in a modern interpretation of the past.  Harmonic vocals are provided by the whole band, but are female lead which makes this a very warm record from the start.  Now I will be honest from the beginning, when I first heard this, all I could think of was that this music should have been used in the latest version of Robin Hood by Russell Crowe.  It is an English thing and I cannot help how my mind has been influenced.  Sometimes it sucks to be from Northern England culturally.

There is very little in the way of modern instruments at the fore front here, mostly harps, flutes, harps and percussions.  Yet underneath it all there are samples, synths and other electronics bubbling underneath.  Played and produced very professionally, it is easy to be lost in the music and think you are running through a forest or maidens are walking around castles mournfully, with hankies being dropped for their loved ones who have been lost in battle.  "Tagelled" is a perfect example of when this album is at its best with the mixture of the modern and old coming together to create a beautiful piece of music.

As the album goes on, it does change moods; tracks like "Rhiannon" are designed to have people dancing, whilst "Da Que Deus" is made for looking out of a window for a loved one to come home.  All sung in either variations of German, Latin, Icelandic, Finnish, Ladino or Hungarian and are split between the groups own stories or works based on classical texts.  As I have no idea what is being sung I cannot tell you if the lyrics make sense or if they are well crafted - but by the deity they sound perfect to this music.  Now I would not head out of my way to listen to this if I was honest, but it is worth investigating if this is your particular cup of mead.  Whilst this will probably stay for a niche market and audience, it is one that will be well received.  The mark does not reflect on the band or their performance, I think for what it is this is really well played.  Just not the music I like, but if I ever want to be taken back to the past I know the band to take me there.

6.5 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can purchase from here

You can visit the band's website here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

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