Purism – that is exactly what comes to mind by looking at the cover of Collegium. All we see is a plain white canvas with just the record’s title written across. One has to do some research first, to find out that this is the debut record of a swiss pop-collective called THE FAWN. Apart from that, it’s quite difficult to find out anything about it, so we are forced to let the music speak for itself. Well, it’s more of a whisper actually, but a very pleasant one.
Opener The Arche is a dreamy trip consisting of an acoustic guitar and some underlaying synths, which resembles slowcore as well as classical singer/songwriter-craftmansship. Yet, the singing voice sets the whole thing apart from those obvious influences. Barely audible, it flows above the reduced musical basis, adding more of an extra layer of sound than actual content. A mysterious aura surrounds both, the music and the band – so, accordingly they titled their first EP, “Who’s The Fawn?”. More important than the Who?, though, is the What?. So, what is this? Some kind of marketing strategy? No, actually all of this seems to be rather intended and pre-thought in a purely artistic way. The whole “Fawn”-universe seems to be playing with the listener’s expectations.
Collegium consequently heads into different directions – there’s pure acoustic pop in Paper Cuts, some LOW-moments in “Queen Of Rain” and even symphonic instrumental gloom in Nocturne. Certainly nothing to be consumed in your happiest moments but nonetheless impressively intense. And then, Good Friends finally delivers some answers in all of this puzlling mist: “All my friends are occupied/ all my friends have proper jobs/ they never go late out at night/ they use to care about their lives” – suddenly, a lot of this makes sense in simply marking the difference. The difference between us and them, the difference between aspiration and reality, the difference between surface and content, the difference between semblance and what’s hiding behind it – THE FAWN tricked us, maybe even themselves. For this is certainly nothing to hide. Despite its puristic presentation, Collegium offers a lot to think about, as well as some wonderful tunes and a magic vibe. “Who’s The Fawn?” – Well, it doesn’t matter. They’re good.