PLAYING DETROIT: The Return of FAWNN

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Photos by Alicia Gbur. Clockwise from top left: Christian Doble, Michael Spence, Matt Rickle, and Alicia Gbur.

Whilst record shopping, my eye caught a gig poster featuring none other than one of my longtime favorite local foursomes, FAWNN, and I thought to myself, “these assholes should take that poster down.” I figured it was old, and that the record store should be punished for getting my hopes up. To my surprise, it wasn’t old, and the show hadn’t happened yet. In fact, FAWNN joins Siamese, Odd Hours, and Tart January 30th at The Loving Touch in Ferndale.

When FAWNN formed in 2010, they were already seasoned veterans of the indie rock Detroit culture. Alicia Gbur was front woman of The Nice Device as well as a touring member of The Von Bondies. Christian Doble rocked with Child Bite and Kiddo, and later added drummer Matt Rickle of Javelins and Thunderbirds Are Now!, along with Mike Spence who was a member of the sultry pop force Those Transatlantics. With their rich musical resumes backing them and their irreverent collage of talent propelling them, FAWNN created their first LP, Coastlines, in 2012. Reminiscent of The New Pornographers’ Twin Cinema meets The Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow with a sprinkling of Surfer Blood’s Astro Coast, Coastlines fell into the category of albums that demanded an encore. Four years later, it looks as though we will finally get one.

“We’ve been recording it over the last two years and it’s finished! It’s called Ultimate Oceans and will be out on Quite Scientific in the late spring,” says friend and drummer, Matt Rickle. “We’re stoked about it. The four of us really hit a good stride.” The gap between releases was contingent on guitarist Mike Spence, who split to take a job opportunity. “We didn’t want to replace him,” Rickle said. “But now he’s back! It took a little time to get this album together. It never really felt like we stopped.”

Yes, it’s great news that FAWNN is returning. But after knowing Rickle for as long as I have and learning that he is as passionate of an admirer as I am, it was impossible for me not to mention the magnitude of our shared mourning over the loss of the incomparable David Bowie. “Ever since I discovered my dad’s copy of Young Americans 20 years ago, Bowie has been it for me. He gave me a taste of the strange early on, and my tastes went sideways ever since then,” says Rickle. “I feel like I recognize his urge to always try something different and reinvent your creativity.” I have no doubt that FAWNN’s followup will be an expression of the aforementioned reinvention of creativity, and Detroit can’t wait to hear what that sounds like.

Check out the video for “No Wave” from FAWNN’s 2012 release here:

 

 

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