Over the weekend, while taking a walk in the Santa Monica neighborhood I passed by @McCabesGuitar shop, and as I normally do, stopped to check out their “Upcoming Shows Wall.” One of the posters that caught my eye was the simply titled MEGAFAUN. It rang a bell. At some point I had heard or seen their name somewhere else, yet couldn’t place it. Once I got home I searched the cobwebs in my brain and had a quick chat with @jasonspang. We traced it back to the connection with Bon Iver and Justin Vernon. Did they open up for Bon Iver this year? More googling brought me to the handy site Aquarium Drunkard and their archive of Megafaun articles and samples. Discovering a new band after having only seen a poster in a window was about the closest thing to an organic new find as you’ll get these days. Thumbs up!
Formed in 1997 amongst the H.O.R.D.E festival, two brothers Brad Cook (bass, guitar) and Phil Cook (keyboards) joined Joe Westerlund (percussion) and then released their first “official” album as Megafaun in 2008. Fast forwarding ahead to September 20th, they released the self-titled album Megafaun, and the album that truly inspired me to give a quick write up for LMB. I was hooked after “Get Right” and “These Words.”
You can tell right off the bat it is a more polished and full band recording than their previous works. It isn’t as mellow as Heretofore (2010) which I think actually helps the material and gives the disc a more “full band” feel. The dissonant sounds that occupy nearly every track ease you into and out of the melodies. Really cool stuff. The best part is the album still maintains that American psych-folk sound that has blossomed in the last few years in the form of Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers, and Bon Iver yet in my opinion takes that genre a step further. Certain instrumentals like the end of “State/Meant” (what a great name for a song!) and “Post/Script” which closes out the album is something I hope translates to the live stage.
Megafaun is currently winding down their tour on the West Coast with shows near Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I’ll be checking out their intimate show this coming Sunday @McCabesGuitar Shop and will report back on how it went. You can even follow me on twitter for live show updates at http://www.twitter.com/phortin…
Remaining Megafaun Gigs:
10/04/11 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor*
10/05/11 – Vancouver, BC @ Electric Owl*
10/06/11 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir*
10/07/11 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe DuNord*
10/08/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Satellite*
10/09/11 – Santa Monica, CA @ McCabes*
10/10/11 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah*
*w/ Doug Paisley
New music always helping those Monday afternoon blues!