Born of the Sun
“Domesticity” may not be a word that screams rock and roll despite a surprisingly robust precedent of raucous homemaking records: see Ram and New Morning, wild and wooly paeans to simple country living from McCartney and Dylan, respectively. Born of the Sun, new from Faun Fables, is more feral still, a record of maternal anthems and family jams that beats in time to the rhythms of nature.
Faun Fables has always been the brainchild of Dawn McCarthy, who sings lead on most of the songs here, though she is joined by her partner Nils Frykdahl throughout and, on one song, by their own children. Born of the Sun trades in folk forms, but it blows the seams out. After “Holding the Sky” opens with a ragged flute prelude, “YDUN” stretches primitive sounds across a sophisticated framework, creating an epic of winds, bells, and guitar strum. “Outing in the Country,” meanwhile, is almost tactile in its pleasures—centered on a slinky electric guitar figure, it builds ramshackle energy through a hazy backdrop of shakers, maracas, and cymbals, the percussive din wonderfully human and flawed rather than meticulously looped.
The songs and sketches here are primal; they rise with the sun, bathe in rivers and streams, and in some cases just go to the dogs. The key song may be “Country House Waits,” where McCarthy and her brood escape to a place of solitude—surrounded by “stars and coyotes”—where she spends “quiet days to learn motherhood ways.” But the record’s most riotous moment is “Wild Kids Rant,” which is two and a half minutes of savage clang and clatter. The whole family’s on board to sing this one, a return to primitivism that’s pitched somewhere between family camping trip and Lord of the Flies pandemonium. All together now: “We make fire! With our bare hands! We catch fish from the stream like a bear can!”