It is always great to see a band appearing seemingly out of nowhere who already play to packed houses right out of the gate. Local band Fawns is one of these bands. They are powered by producer Richard Charlton of the Rainbow Patrol and the powerhouse pipes of Mercedes Fawns, which released their debut CD “I Grew Up Here” earlier this year.
The band also includes drummer Chris Morden, keyboardist Clint Westcott, Antonia Aguire and Charlton on bass.
“We’re donating 10 per cent of all proceeds from the album to the Canadian Mental Health Association Lethbridge Legion,” said Fawns, noting the roots of the album go back to 2015 when Fawns started recording her songs with Charlton, who was a Digital Audio Arts student at the University of Lethbridge.
“Things just clicked, so we continued working together,” she said.
The themes of the album “I Grew Up Here” are community and mental illness, which are closely related.
“I’ve struggled with mental illness and so have my friends and the band members, who have family members who have suffered from mental illness,” she said.
“A lot of the songs are also about growing up in this part of Alberta with those kinds of issues,” she continued.
Fawns placed second in CKXU’s Melodic Melee battle of the bands last weekend, losing out to the Youngbloods.
She noted she created the songs and lyrics, but Richard Charlton fleshed out the arrangements.
“I’m a big fan of Richard’s arrangements. We bounced ideas back and forth off each other,” she said, adding they are already working on the next album, which will be more of a band collaboration as the band gets more comfortable playing with each other.
In addition to growing up here, writing the music here and recording the music here, they also got the CD mastered here at Jon Martin’s Green Recording Company studio
She worked hard with Charlton to turn blue and sad lyrics into a more upbeat melodies and songs, reminiscent of ’90s artists like Alanis Morissette.
“I also love female artists from the ’80s like Lee Aaron and heart who have such incredible stage presence. I love bands with strong female leads,” she said.
Fawns is thankful audiences have responded so well to the album and its heavier themes by going to shows and buying the albums.
“We’ve got a lot of support at the College and University on on CKXU 88.3 f.m. and from Jess FM. And Richard is also part of the band the Rainbow Patrol,” said Fawns, who graduated from the Lethbridge College media program in 2015 and has written for and edited Lethbridge Living magazine.
They are applying to summer festivals like Sled Island, the U of L Freshfest and several others.
She noted the band works on their live show a lot.
“We want to give people an experience. We don’t just want to stand there and play songs,” she said.