Fawn Spots make raw, guttural post-punk, imbued with the melancholy of Joy Division and poetics of T.S Eliot.
Their debut LP, From Safer Place, has been 18 months in the making and is set to be released on March 9th on Critical Heights. Recorded in the walled gardens of an isolated Georgian Manor on the outskirts of York, vocalist and guitarist Jonathan Meager describes the end results as “very raw for sure, but we felt that was appropriate for these songs.” On the experience of recording here, he says: “Being in there has removed the restrictions of using a conventional practise and recording space for us, and allowed us to work on our own things at our own pace.” Fawn Spots’ line up is completed by fellow vocalist-guitarist Ollie Grabowski and drummer Paddy Carley.
From Safer Place explores the anxiety of moving away from a place of security into the unknown depths of our future lives, as “something that’s been experienced and is also anticipated.” An influence upon the thinking behind the album was that of nihilistic philosopher Sartre and his “anxiety of unlimited choice.” Particularly inspiring Jonathan’s urgent, yet contemplative lyrics is the poetry of T.S Eliot, especially in “the way he talks about the everyday in such musical and poetic language” which makes “even the smallest thing seem interesting and important.”
On this record, Fawn Spots tried to push their sound closer towards some of their key influences, citing Dischord Records as an example. “Recording it ourselves, with our limited knowledge, gives it a certain fidelity, but it also meant that we could capture a rawness common to a lot of records from the past that we love.”
Currently on tour with Naomi Punk, Fawn Spots try to spread their wings, playing gigs around the UK as much as possible. Though they note that living in such a quiet city has its advantages: “being somewhere like York allows you to just focus on your own thing. It’s a pretty relaxed place, really, which is good to come home to.”
Fawn Spots are launching From Safer Place with a show at York Rowing Club on the 14th March. “We were looking for a space that didn’t hold regular shows so it would be ‘neutral’ for us to do something in.” They were tipped off about the venue’s potential by their friend Brian, who runs the Bangarang ‘sounds of vintage Jamaica’ night at the Spread Eagle. Live, Fawn Spots are bruising, exhilaratingly passionate performers; the show would be a mistake to miss.
By Sophie Brear