The Transit Rider
By: Eric Greenwood
Dawn McCarthy's fetishistic interpretation of long-forgotten British folk music is creepy beyond what mere words can express without auditory aids. Her two previous Drag City records, Family Album and Early Song, respectively, both revel in archetypal atmospheric folk, which were far weirder than they were engaging.
With a controlled, cold, and distant voice, McCarthy's cadence is slightly reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor's but without the histrionics or the anger. Admittedly, I'm not an expert in mystic folk musings or paegan poetry, but this forthcoming soundtrack to McCarthy's theatric piece, The Transit Rider, under her stage name, Faun Fables, sounds like it could have been easily employed in Marc Singer's Beastmaster series, replete with hooded, burlap capes, torches and lots of owls. Not to make light of McCarthy's art or anything, but a little subtle humor might break up the tension a bit because McCarthy is just a tad too serious. Add to that the fact that Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum's Nils Frykdahl lends his multi-instrumental talents as well as his even freakier baritone (the latter of which, I've decided, sounds far too much like that guy in Crash Test Dummies to take too seriously). Needless to say, this is an odd campfire tale, even if it is ostensibly (as her biography pretentiously states) about the New York City subway system “in all its repetitious and transient glory.”