posted March 18th, 2024

Returning to this heated Earth on your calendar’s next page are two early classics from Faun Fables: 2001’s Mother Twilight and 2004’s Family Album arrive on vinyl for the first time ever on April 26th. These two treasures from Dawn McCarthy and Nils Frykdahl join hand-in-hand, in full Family Band fashion, with a hearty tour across North America this spring alongside Nils’ reunited Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.

Wiser, well-weathered, and now 20 years of age, Family Album lit the Faun Fables flame at Drag City as their first release on the label back in February 2004. The third Faun Fables record is a harvest of songs that belong to sons and daughters, entwined and orphaned, domesticated and feral. Inside Family Album, runaways graze the wild together, a mother finds her courage playing the piano, dogs become thieves and wolves, and a son is taken too soon. Fourteen-year-old nymphs sit dangerously at the crossroads, a younger brother tries to find his place, packs of girls defeat fear with a march, and the nightly adventures of the household mouse are spied upon.

As for Mother Twilight, the second Faun Fables album: it has since been noted by Scottish author R.J. Stewart as a work containing true artifacts of the oral underworld tradition. Dawn and Nils made a hand-assembled first pressing and peddled it to nearly every bar and rural hall across North America from 2001-2003; Drag City reissued the CD in 2004, and is proud to place it on vinyl in 2024.

“With Mother Twilight, I salute two portals in my life – twilight and travelling." – Dawn McCarthy, 2004

Dawn McCarthy's creative background was forged in oral tradition amidst a large musical family in Spokane, Washington; studying piano, music theater, rock bands, guitar, folklore and ethnomusicology. Dawn cut her teeth as a singer & performer with various bands and cabarets in Madison, Wisconsin and New York City, most notably as yodeler with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, whom inspired her path as a kindred spirit. Her focus took a pivotal turn in that direction in 1997 with a solo quest through the UK and Ireland and their bardic traditions; singing songs in clubs and homes, all the while undergoing a pastoral, psychological experience with the land. Upon her return to the States, a fateful meeting with Oakland, CA born-and-raised Nils Frykdahl (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) moved McCarthy back to the West to begin a new creative collaboration in the thriving hills and art community of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since 1999, Faun Fables have released six albums and performed their animist, otherworldly folk music across the world. Dawn's writing and voice (described by The New Yorker as “one of the more compelling instruments in contemporary music") opens hearts and minds with a whisper to a rallying battle cry further animated by Frykdahl's adventurous musicality and vocals. Dawn has written musical theater performed by the Idyllwild Arts Academy, among others, and has lent her vocals to Bonnie 'Prince' Billy on The Letting Go and What the Brothers Sang. In 2022, Faun Fables debuted their family band, joined onstage by their daughters with vocals, percussion, keyboard and dance. The show hits the road this spring, commencing with a set at Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival.

Faun Fables 2024 Tour Dates:

3/22 - Knoxville, TN @ Big Ears Festival
3/25 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West*
3/26 - Winter Park, FL @ Conduit*
3/27 - Tampa, FL @ Orpheum*
3/28 - New Orleans, LA @ Howlin' Wolf*
3/29 - Houston, TX @ The Secret Group*
3/30 - Austin, TX @ The Mohawk*
3/31 - Dallas, TX @ Trees*
4/2 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar*
4/3 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom*
4/4 - Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole*
4/5 - Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theatre*
4/6 - Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre*

*w/ Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Artists in this story: Faun Fables