Charles Fauna’s “Diner” Taps Into the Solace of a Faded Late Night Culture

Charles Fauna, photo courtesy the artist

In just over three minutes Charles Fauna’s “Diner” perhaps unintentionally hits depths of melancholic nostalgia mixed with regret and a sense of leaving the past behind and going on into an uncertain future but with a feeling of liberation. It’s a lot to pack into a short pop song but the aforementioned possible unintentional impact gives the song more heft despite its ethereal and uplifting melodies. When Fauna sings “I think you’re perfect in the diner light” after referring to getting off on the turnpike after having left in the dead of night for many he is conjuring the image, in physical and emotional memory, of a time that isn’t quite the same anymore. The pandemic devastated an industry that had been in trouble for years because its usual patrons and workers were often students or other lower wage workers who could indulge a diner meal on the regular when many cities were still somewhat affordable and college as well. So there was a late night dining world in cities and off highways the kind that existed in even the least glamorous locales throughout America. It felt reliable even if the food quality could vary a bit. But in the past decade late night options in many places have diminished whether it’s grocery stores no longer being twenty-four hours, coffee shops closing by eight p.m., many by 5. As cities have become precipitously economically challenging and housing scarce the diner as we knew them before the 2010s has become scarcer. The pandemic hit that late night culture even harder and maybe put an end to it into the foreseeable future. And yet Fauna’s song taps into the memories of hanging out with friends at these places and finding refuge in them on a road trip while taking for granted their presence and the people willing to work in them and the chain of economic relationships that made them possible eroded by the trickle down impact of oligarchic greed. So while Fauna’s lushly gorgeous song is a simple yet emotionally rich pop song about leaving your past behind for the sake of your well being he invokes memory and a completely understandable hope for a future where such simple luxuries can exist again on a better basis. Fans of M83 will probably like this one. Listen to “Diner” on Spotify and follow Charles Fauna on Soundcloud linked below.


Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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