When: Tue., Aug. 2, 9 p.m. 2016
In the new video for “Ydun,” a song from the latest Faun Fables album, Born of the Sun (Drag City), the duo of Dawn McCarthy and Nils Frykdahl frolic in the woods with their children, resembling something between a nomadic family of Ren Faire extras and an off-the-grid commune of five. The children make dream catchers from yarn while Frykdahl hides behind a hooded burlap cloak playing a wooden flute. The couple aren’t acting a part. They’ve been putting their own spin on mystical psych-folk for nearly two decades—none of the so-called freak-folk figures have lived it like this pair—and Born of the Sun arrives as their most committed case for leaving modern civilization behind. On “Goodbye” McCarthy sings, “So we walk this road to the future’s door / Not knowing who’ll we see anymore,” reinforcing an inexorable movement toward a more bucolic, honest existence. “Wild Kids Rant” features the couple’s girls shouting along with them, “We never shower, we never shave / We just swim in the river and we never bathe,” and though the lines are partly tongue in cheek, they also act as an anthem. Beyond the back-to-the-land ethos lie loads of pretty melodies, most of them sung by McCarthy with plaintive, full-bodied beauty. I have trouble with Frykdhal’s brand of over-enunciated theatrics, but McCarthy’s singing functions as a balm in more ways than one.