Faunts - Left Here Alone
Record Label: Friendly Fire
Release Date: November 19, 2012
A compilation billed more as a complete piece, a "lost record," Left Here Alone was released in Fauntsí twelfth year of existence.
Itís meant to "fill in the empty space" between Fauntsí various releases over the past many years. Fauntsí music has always been expansive and bathed - sometimes drowned - in the electronically charged atmospherics. Each track is unmistakably Faunts, but there is unevenness and a varying amount of direction throughout the EP.
That said, the music never fails to be quite pretty.
"Alarmed" opens, ringing out like a dread call to arms. Itís all suited up in ominous, echoing guitar licks that shrug through the haze. It wouldnít be at all out-of-place if it were to back a scene the way Godspeed You! Black Emperor soundtracks the dead London of 28 Days Later. Itís also staid and standard, though, neither bad nor tremendously noteworthy. Itís functional.
Similar guitarwork has a much different effect in the following track, "What Iíd Love to Hear You Say." Theyíre as ambitious as before, but the more earth-bound, intimate surroundings theyíre put in results in a more human, less manufactured song. Where "Alarmed" was detached, itís successor isnít afraid of a little expression. Faunts sacrificed a bit of the "super serious post-rock business" for something more shapely and refined.
This trend continues into "Stay A While" and "Left Here Alone," which, apart from telling their own tragic stories with only their titles, are more meditative pieces. They rely on steady build and nuance rather than on an unrelenting gale of self-important momentousness. The horns of the former are an evolving - if soft-spoken - force for the succinctly plotted piece, and the latter has an unwavering patience without getting too terribly ponderous.
What is left to the listeners is an EP that lives up to the promise of "spanning the years" with four tracks of similar roots amongst more mixed approaches and results. What at first sounds like the latest Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky idolizers ends with something that feels a little more focused and individualized, despite the occasional vocalsí frequent irrelevance.
For a compilation of work both old and older, Left Here Alone is a fair, quality picture of the band. Itís a little inconsistent and piecemeal as a whole, but it edges on "gorgeous" multiple times. Faunts do their thing, and they usually do it quite well.
2. What I'd Love to Hear You Say
3. Stay A While
4. Left Here Alone