NC’s Megafaun Announces New Album


See promo teaser
trailer, below.


By Blurt Staff


Megafaun have confirmed the Sept 20 release on Hometapes of ‘Megafaun,’ the follow-up to ‘Gather, Form & Fly,’ which BLURT
reviewed thusly:


For all the talk about freak folk, new
folk, roots and other permutations of traditional mores, the pure patchwork
shuffle of acoustic instrumentation and back porch harmonies continues to have
a difficult time piercing the modern mélange.  So it’s somewhat noteworthy
to find Megafaun making a studied attempt to recapture that campfire glow with
a fondness for banjo, dulcimer, fiddles, aching acoustic guitars and forlorn melodies. 
Where Bon Iver, Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, the Espers and Earlimart have
established a tentative grasp on gothic designs, Megafaun makes the most of
this vintage motif, with songs such as “Kaufman’s Ballad,” “The
Fade,” “Tides” and “The Process” harkening back to a
time when amplification wasn’t yet in vogue and music was procured by and for
the masses. Nevertheless,
Gather, Form & Fly, the trio’s sophomore set, plays with that
purity to some degree, washing the kaleidoscopic “Impressions of the
Past” and “Darkest Hour” in a swirl of sundry effects before
commencing with more earnest engagement.  So too, the emphatic blues stomp
of “Solid Grown” tows the borderline between vagabond blues and a
more audible angst.  Nevertheless, unadorned offerings like “The
Longest Day,” “Columns” and “Guns” (before its
dissolve into dissonance) may be the closest things yet to those rambling
hootenannies and fervent protest pleas of yesteryear.  Somewhere in the
cosmos, Woody Guthrie, John Fahey and Mimi Farina are likely all nodding their
heads in unanimous agreement.



The new album’s 14 tracks range from raw, unhurried rock and
roll to cacophonous percussive blasts, from brassy instrumental free jazz to
mournful delta blues. The band–Joe Westerlund and brothers Phillip and Bradley
Cook–recorded the album late last year at April Base in Fall Creek, WI,
the studio of former bandmate Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), and produced it
themselves along with BJ Burton.


Megafaun from Hometapes on Vimeo.

Megafaun’s roots reach back to Eau
Claire, WI, the
hometown of all three members. With Justin Vernon they formed the band
DeYarmond Edison and moved to North
Carolina. That band broke up in 2006, but from its
ashes rose Bon Iver and Megafaun, two of the most critically acclaimed indie
projects in music today (DeYarmond Edison played a reunion show at SXSW this
year). Over the course of two previous LPs and one EP, the band has toured the
country with The Mountain Goats, Bowerbirds, Akron/Family, and more. 

In addition, Duke
University recently
commissioned Megafaun to create and perform ‘Sounds of the South,’ a concert
based on the rural folk songs collected by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax during
his early travels. The trio reimagined the music through their own brand of
experimental Americana and collaborated with Richmond’s Fight the Big Bull avant-jazz ensemble,
acclaimed songwriter Sharon Van Etten, and Vernon
on the project, which was presented for three nights in Durham
and again at Cincinnati’s
MusicNOW Festival to raves.

Megafaun will tour extensively this fall with dates to be announced soon.


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