Raising The Fawn The North Sea

[Sonic Unyon; 2004]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: atmospheric rock, space rock
Others: Broken Social Scene, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

It's hard to believe that The North Sea sat on the shelf for two years. Originally recorded in 2002, Raising The Fawn fell victim to evolution, losing one half of its entity prior to the album release. John Crossingham (of Broken Social Scene fame) and Scott Remila shelved the project due to the unexpected departure of two members and hired a new drummer, Dylan Green, to record new songs as a trio. These songs are available on its previous 2003 EP release, By The Warmth Of Your Flame, and received mediocre praise and commendation. Now in 2004, Raising The Fawn has unlocked the vault and released The North Sea, a collection of songs that encompasses the strengths and abilities of the original four members of the band.

Like any musical artist or band, the opening track on any album you release should be memorable enough for the listener to continue on listening. The opening track should be an adequate representation of the remainder of the album, projecting a connection with the listener and the artist or band. Raising The Fawn's The North Sea opens with "The News," which adequately paints the perfect picture of the entire album, encompassing beautiful harmonies and an atmospheric musical accompaniment. In fact, it is gorgeous, filled with beautiful vocals by departed member Julie Booth. This is the epitome of emotional music, encircling and enveloping listeners immediately with its hushed, breathy vocals and brooding musical assemblage. And as the album progresses through its eight tracks, Raising The Fawn showcases an immense passion and emotional commitment to its art and craftsmanship, creating an enjoyable and memorable listening experience.

The North Sea is effective in its array of tempos and rhythms. While most of the record lies between atmospheric rock compositions and space droning symphonies, Raising The Fawn compels listeners with its plethora of soundscapes and layers. Like the ocean, Raising The Fawn imitates all aspects of its unexpected and unpreventable behaviors; its brooding calmness on "The News," its chaotic storms on "Drowned," and its gentle, yet menacing waves on "The North Sea (Lost At Sea)." And overall, Raising The Fawn has concocted an immensely enjoyable musical experience, encompassing several musical influences and inspirations. And with tracks like "Gwendolyn" and "Top To Bottom," it's simply a shame that The North Sea never came out on its expected due date in 2002. I'm just glad that Raising The Fawn decided to enlighten its fans with it anyways, even though it is two years late.

1. The News
2. Home
3. Gwendolyn
4. July 23rd
5. The North Sea (Lost at Sea)
6. Top to Bottom
7. Drowned
8. Eta