FAWN are a Motor City supergroup of sorts, comprised of previous members of the likes of Thunderbirds are Now!, the Von Bondies, Javelins, Child Bite, and Those Transatlantic, among others. Their debut album, Coastlines, drops next week on Quite Scientific Records. The band spawned from the simultaneous heartbreaks of Alicia Gbur and Christian Doble, whose respective (but not respected) exes had recently formed a band together in the aftermath of each breakup, so Gbur and Doble had no choice but to team up and answer back with a musical project of their own. Despite the band’s sentimental foundations, their sound is actually relatively sunny… But not sunny in a classical sense. Sunny in the sense of ‘90s alt. rock that was all about self destruction, but was actually quite nice music for sitting in a grassy field on a summer’s day… I’ve often described the aesthetic as “surf music for the suicidal,” (see: The Sisters Deal). FAWN would’ve been the perfect band for Lollapalooza… or the soundtrack to My So Called Life. The album’s highlight is “No Wave,” which I’m not entirely willing to believe wasn’t written in the 1990s. The ballad is Coastlines’ most somber sounding track and easily could’ve replaced the work of Slowdive for the end-credit sequence of any one of the entries of Gregg Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy.
I recently got a chance to chat with Alicia Gbur (vocals, bass, and guitar) and Christian Doble (vocals, guitar, and bass), one-half of the quartet (rounded out by Matt Rickle on drums and Michael Spence on guitar) about how the band began, what they’ve been up to, and what they have planned for the future. They tell me that the two of them actually first met on Facebook: “Uh for real. A modern friendship that spawned from two break ups, a band swap of sorts, and a need to start over again. You can read all about the real dirt in the tabloids.” I ask them about how they feel about the current state of indie rock, whose mega-stars seem to have more of a penchant for the “fun,” much like FAWN, than they have in quite some time: “Honestly, we love it. Seeing the music you love gain appreciation from a broad audience is nice. We’re all about having our tastes justified by mall rats, MILFs, and professional athletes. Just as long as everyone knows we liked it first.” In addition to the music, FAWN’s band members take pride in their creation of the band’s visual components (Alicia was a photography major, while Christian was a design major), from the record covers, press photographs, posters, websites, and videos: “We all treat the band as an on-going art project and are inspired by music, fashion, and politics.” So what can you expect from FAWN in 2012?:
“Well, our debut LP, Coastlines, is out June 12. That’s some big 2012 news. Our record release show is June 14. Touring? Good question. We’ll be out and about. For sure.”