Named after the second section of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy’s tragic late 19th century odyssey about a young woman caught between worlds, the latest EP from Fauness, Maiden No More, is wilful and wild-hearted, loyal to its own emancipatory muse: “cut the cord / cut the cord from me / set your girl / set your girl free...” The collection captures the moment at which the spring flowers of her previous EPs, Toxic Femininity, Lashes in a Landfill, and Dreamcatcher, have passed into the late summer, fruit-bearing phase. Each song is co-produced by Jam City, whose Earthly imprint issued the previous releases. 

From the release of Toxic Femininity in 2018, Fauness’s vision has crystallised. Her day job writing about classical art seeps subtly into certain lyrical themes: beauty, idealised images of the female form, the pressures of achievement, longing for self-realisation. But ultimately Fauness manifests a world unto itself, wounded but wondrous, open to the unknown and holding on to threads of hope.