Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Here's what's most attractive about the music that North Carolina band Megafaun makes: it's without any sort of baggage or any tells. It might as well be long-legged and intelligent to boot, with that combination. We enter into any one of its songs and we can't tell you how it's going to play. We might get the kind of desert night flamer like the incredible unreleased song "Fallen Angel," or we might get something closer to a geeky, Mississippi Delta gospel song, with a playfully melodic backbeat as "His Robe" does. The latter features a couple moments of live, open chuckling and perhaps impromptu flourishes, but it essentially still portrays some Biblical themes and the always powerful demands that a mind and society place on finding salvation. Megafaun take us by the hand immediately with multi-part harmonies that are wonderfully taut as well as unpolished and malleable and then we're being led into various rooms within these songs, where anyone in their right minds would be happy to just shut themselves off and crawl over to the abstracted yellowed and bleached out rectangles lying cockeyed on the floor. One step inside any of the obvious shapes - one touch of a heel or a toe striking the carpeting or wood - and it would be evident that this is the spot we've been looking to recline or nap in since we woke up groggily this morning, still hazy from the overnight. "Drains" is a 10-plus-minute song from the group's second-to-last album "Bury The Square" and it goes everywhere, like a hummingbird would, hovering in lengthy instrumental bridges a la Six Parts Seven, then drifting into brief patches of lemon-tinged melancholy like a sad lover, finally letting the freakouts happen (as much as they can be freakouts - though they have been known to perform as the backing band for hippie nuts Akron/Family in the past), with drums flying off in places, before returning to a structure that feels as if we're being courted by a summer's night, all tanned and vital, all full of promise and of combustion. It's music that defines THE reason or a new reason that we're all given our own separate hearts - aside from the blood-pumping aspects. It's because of the weird combinations of troubles and excitement that they can all get into when surrendered for those expressed consents. Songs by Megafaun give us these dimensions of our own rhythms being surrendered for a community rhythm shared with someone else or a few more someone else's. They sing about things - probably days and nights and affairs or dalliances - ending the way we'd sing about our passions and yearnings for beginning them in the first place. It's almost as if when they sing on "Fallen Angel," "Smoke starts to clear…/Dark desert night/Fire is our only light…/Flames wear down about to die/We had no choice we had to try/We had no choice we had to try," it's a justification for always finding it worthwhile to sail off into choppy waters. We'll just do it - against the certainly of fading lights and fires losing their heat, in spite of trepidation and knowing full-well the way that most things tend to turn out for us, and everyone else we know. We find comfort in this comfort.
Megafaun Official Site