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Fawns of Love – Permanent Review

The softer side of shoegaze rock

The softer side of shoegaze

Husband and Wife dream-pop duo Fawns of Love have been releasing lush Cocteau Twin’s inspired music for a few years now and returned with their new album Permanent earlier this month. It continues to show how the pair are evolving into their own entity.

‘Someday’ opens with the flavour of sound that the album will encompass. The guitars are late 80’s The Cure, the percussion a mix of early 90’s Cocteau Twins and the vocals remind me very much of modern day bands A Hundred Waters and Elena from Daughter / Ex:Re. It’s a potent and heady concoction that means Fawns of Love can take their time weaving sounds and thought into your mind. ‘December’ is a better example of that because the chill of the year is shown through the echoing space that all those instruments leave behind. It’s a beautiful and haunting track but serene at the same time. Not one instrument outside the electronic drums wants to take a lead and its the bleeding of all the ambience that creates a fluffy sea of music rather than something riff-driven. It’s a different approach to shoegaze because it is a softer approach but it really works here.

Fawns of Love

Fawns of Love aren’t afraid of using plenty of synths though and ‘Horoscope’ takes them into that side of their music. It’s a strange track because it sounds constantly slightly out of tune but on purpose like something is unsettled. It took me a few listens to appreciate it. The title track is sumptuous brilliance though. The glistening keyboards, warm rubbery guitars and clever use of waxing and waning of instruments in waves make ‘Permanent’ the perfect way to experience Fawns of Love at their finest. The near instrumental ‘Mournful Eyes’ moves towards something more aggressive and dancefloor-worthy. It’s a darker tone and the way the guitar and synths interplay with each other creates a tight mesh of sound to support the floating vocals. It makes the lightness of ‘Devine’ stand out even more with its tom drum runs and airy brushstrokes on your mind.

The album returns to a more Cocteau Cure cross over of the final two tracks. Both ‘Anarchy and Kisses’ and ‘Wasted Days’ follow the darker side of the album. They also showcase how the guitar can sit low in the mix and push the melody of a track despite being where you’d often find a bass guitar in the makeup of a track. It’s something Fawns of Love do often but here it’s given more freedom to take centre stage as the vocals are more like keyboard chords than melodic entities.

Anyone interested in dream-pop or the softer side shoegaze rock would do well to check out ‘Permanent’ as true to its name, it’ll end up on your constant rotation. This is my favourite work of Fawns of Love to date.

Recommended track: Permanent

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Fawns of Love - Permanent


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