Fawn is the début album of Young Astronaut, a band formed in 2007 by Chris and Pete Boakes, two brothers from New Forest. After four years of experimenting between themselves, they recruited a drummer and a bass player to record ten tracks of what they describe as a mix of Indie, Acoustic and Folk; this essentially means Folk-style acoustic guitar-playing mixed with Indie-style rhythm on an electric guitar.
While there is fundamentally nothing wrong with this, Young Astronaut seem to have decided on some styles and bands that would influence their album before writing any of the songs, rather than letting them come out naturally, so it feels contrived. Much of the album feels formulaic; the songs follow a similar pattern, starting off with an acoustic, melodic intro, that gets louder and louder with an electric guitar coming in.. It’s difficult to distinguish between the songs; the first, ‘Triumph,’ could have been one of the best on the album, but is instead quite predictable (and with maybe just a little too much influence from Mumford and Sons) and blends in with the rest of the album.
It’s only really the ninth track, ‘Sugar Is Sweeter Than Gold’ that the band’s potential shows. The song is simpler and more mellow than the others, with an acoustic guitar accompanied by a cello. This allows the vocals of singer Chris Boakes to shine through, his baritone voice (with a slight hint of Rufus Wainwright in it) being the highlight of the album.
Being formulaic is the main cause of Fawn’s biggest problem: there isn’t enough to excite. There are, however, moments that stand out, so it’s likely that Young Astronaut will eventually improve: just not soon enough to save this album.
Don’t agree with this review? You can judge for yourself as Young Astronaut are giving away the album on their site – youngastronaut.co.uk