Subtle, luscious melodies flow throughout The Sea and Cake’s The Fawn, which creates a sense of warmth in each track. Only a mix of fluttering pop and electronics can lead to such a creation. The soothing vocals — reminiscent of a toned down Lou Barlow (Sebadoh) — complete the album’s mood. The feel of the “Sea” is evident in the reverb of the keys and the softly touched guitars, as an occasional aquatic sample appears behind the music. Even the poppier tracks are kept hushed by innocent vocals and comforting rhythms.
“Sporting Life” begins The Fawn with an almost Boo Radleys-esque feel as a cheery bassline filled with joyous electronics takes you through a pop wonderland. However, the flow of the bridge is just a taste of what the album is really about. With the exception of a few tracks (“The Argument,” “Civilise”), The Fawn is a stress-relieving collection of songs produced with the “Sea” in mind. The other notable poppy song, “The Argument,” is a Nintendo theme song similar to Godzuki and actually contains an impressive clubby beat. While these poppier numbers are sufficient enough for a sunny day drive, the rest of the album is best reserved for a rainy day of relaxation.
Though settling, the slower tracks don’t feel melancholy whatsoever. Each of them give off an uplifting, heartwarming atmosphere. The overwhelming basslines on each track seem to take over with various melodies following. On the title track, the bass is the dominant instrument. A rainy feel overcomes the song as it develops a hypnotic effect that flows into “The Ravine” and is the musical equivalent of the air shortly after the rain. More evident is the creeping bass line captured in “Rossignol” that is surrounded by waves of single notes and the one rush of sampled water.
The Fawn is another one of those “cocktail” albums, but not just another one of those albums. It’s difficult to recall recent albums that contain the same songwriting and elegant instrumentation that’s used throughout The Fawn. An unimaginable amount of songs could easily have been derived from the numerous, separate layers that make up each of the songs here. Though the songs go off in all sorts of direction, there is never a collision, but rather a delightful blend. So much goes on within each track that The Fawn begs to be carefully listened to over and over again.
Written by Nolan Shigley.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.