UTG TRACK-BY-TRACK: Greaver – ‘The Faun’

greaver feature

Today, North Carolina’s Greaver have released their massive conceptual effort, The Faun, through Cardigan Records. Having had the time to soak in the depth of its story and sonic intensity, we’ve teamed up with the band to share their in-depth breakdown of each of The Faun‘s 10 tracks and overarching storyline, which you can immerse yourself in below. The album can be streamed at the end of this post if you’d like to listen through as you read Greaver’s track-by-track analysis.

Tonight, at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Greaver will be celebrating the release of The Faun with Youth League, Civilian, and Goodbye, Titan. Tickets and all details for the release show can be found here. If you can’t make it to the show and would like to order a digital or CD copy of The Faun, head over to Cardigan Records.


 

“Last Breath”

“Last Breath” sets the mood and foreshadows a lot of the main elements of the record as a whole. In contrast to our other releases, we wanted an opening track that started quickly but also had a ton of space, atmosphere, and drive. You first hear the voice messages left by Morgan, the girlfriend in the story, which sets the stage for the relationship at the heart of the record’s story. The title is in reference to Leon, the second member of that relationship and also the recently deceased recipient of these voice messages.

 

“A Poisoned Well”

This was probably the first song written for this album. We’d played it live a ton of times and when it came time to prepare for recording, we sat down and reworked it based on what was working best. The changes were subtle but made a huge difference with the overall tightness. This song has the most back-and-forth vocal interplay on the record, which our newest vocalist, Michael Townsel, did an amazing job with. It adds a lot of intensity to match the instrumentation. This song also features clean vocals, which has been pretty rare up to this point, but based off of how it worked in this song we definitely plan to experiment more with it moving forward. It was an interesting challenge having to write this song due to the fact that it’s told from a dead man’s perspective. Leon’s life is indeed a well, poisoned with dirty blood.

 

“Southfield”

One of our personal favorites, Southfield is a really different song in terms of structure. It has a few repeated sections but there’s no verse or chorus really, but that’s what we love about it. It has an energy to it that naturally flows, builds, and ultimately explodes with the last half of the song. Molefi of Iselia was rad enough to do guest vocals and his delivery meshed so perfectly with the vibe of the song. The title is in reference to the area Michael Rozier grew up in Michigan.

 

“November Skin”

We wrote “November Skin” with the idea that it would follow “Southfield.” They’re in the same key, but couldn’t have more different feels to them. We wanted a more traditionally structured song coming after “Southfield,” so we focused on building layers with guitar melodies and vocals while a simple but driving rhythm section brought a close-to-home familiarity. The lyrics were written from the point of view of the girlfriend’s father and provide some of his unique perspective.

 

“Third Eye”

We knew we wanted to balance heavy and more ambient sections throughout the record, and also push our boundaries at both ends Third Eye is one of the moments where the record slows down and breathes, while also revealing more information regarding Leon (boyfriend) and Scott’s (girlfriends dad’s) relationship, and Morgan’s (girlfriend) wavering sanity. The Third Eye references Morgan’s insight into who might have murdered her lover. Musically we really enjoyed focusing on groove with this track. The foundation came from a riff Sean had been working on for years, and we ultimately arrived at its final form in the studio. I’m pretty sure I heard Al Jacob say this was his favorite off the record, or at least the one that gave him the most “feels.”

 

greaver the faun

 

“Earth Rune”

Remember that balance of heavy and ambiance? “Earth Rune” is where the pounding starts back up again. Another older song, this track is probably the heaviest on the record and one of our favorites to play live because of it. And the way it opens *DUN DUN DUN DUN*. It was written to evoke a spooky, aggressive feel that would pair with Leon (the dead boyfriend)’s lyrical perspective. The title is actually a video game reference because we all love video games probably way too much…

 

“Moonlight, Snow”

From the second Mike came up with the main guitar riff we all immediately fell in love with it. Once it started to take shape, we wanted to steer it to have a very pretty sound and an epic feel to it. The second verse also has a pretty playful, fun feel to it, especially with that second tapping guitar riff and some of the drum fills. This is one of the tracks we plan to shoot a music video for.

 

“Grief Seeds”

“Grief Seeds” represents the intensity and chaos that is Morgan’s (girlfriend) mind at this point in the story. She dives into the depths of mental illness and loses sight of what she once was. It’s fast, unhinged and raw, and has some of our favorite riffs on the record. We did a ton of pre-pro demoing before going in to record at Warrior Sound, and this song was perhaps one of the tracks that transformed the most during that process.

 

“First Touch”

Compared to “Third Eye,” we wanted a slightly darker tone and feel for this instrumental track given where it falls in the story’s progression. This was Morgan’s last voicemail, setting the occult foundation for “Hang Up.” She comes to the realization that she’s tired of laying down. This is her first touch with true isolation. The structure of “First Touch” came from a jam between Sean and Travis, and after a few more revision sessions and layers from other members, it had that darker atmosphere and groove we were looking for. The desperation in Natalie’s delivery during the voice mail is so on point with that feel; she did an amazing job on the whole record, but especially this track.

 

“Hang Up”

Towards the end of the writing process it was becoming apparent we didn’t have an appropriate closing track for the record, so Mike began working on a spacey, dark riff that would ultimately become the foundation for the first half of “Hang Up.” We wanted it to progress from a slow, openness to a raw and savage intensity to close off the record. The guitar work in the middle section represents our love of proggy riffage pretty well, and transitions into the following section with double bass carrying the intensity into one of our favorite vocal deliveries on the record. The title is in reference to numerous things, one of the main being the difference in the final voice sample no longer coming through a phone but instead being played out in real time.

greaver tour

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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