Reviews \

Faun Fables, ‘Light of a Vaster Dark’ (Drag City)

Outlandish and proud of it, Dawn “The Faun” McCarthy could pass for a nutcase on her duo’s first album in four years, but don’t be fooled. Assisted by longtime sidekick Nils Frykdahl, she deftly melds violin, flute, harmonica, and other acoustic elements into lovely soundscapes that showcase her solemn voice dramatically. For all her grandiosity, though, McCarthy’s meditations on domestic toil (“Housekeeper”) and seasonal change (“Hibernation Tales”) feel intimately heartfelt, while the wailing “O Mary” blends natural imagery and Christian allusions in stirring fashion.