As Shirk and I sat around waiting for Megafaun to arrive to the studio, I thought back to a comment made when we booked the session. What exactly did they mean by “trying an acoustic session.” That question was answered when we met the North Carolina based band outside and offered to help carry up gear. Phil and Brad Cook just grabbed a banjo and acoustic and away we went upstairs. Once inside, drummer Joe Westerlund fashioned himself a makeshift drum kit from what was lying around the studio and the brothers saddled up for a magical session.
The boys eased through a three song set that left us in awe. The new tune called “Volunteers,” from their upcoming summer mini-albume Heretofore, is a stunning piece of lazy folk. It’ll have you humming along, singing the lyrics, and looking for a hammock in no time. These lines will be stuck in my head all weekend: “Sunlight silhouettes the dogwood trees/ Swaying all alone in the Carolina breeze.”
“The Longest Day” and “Columns” can be found on the band’s 2009 release, Gather, Form and Fly. Just like “Volunteers,” you’ll be overwhelmed by the warmth in the Cook brothers’ harmonies (and beards) in “The Longest Day.” “Columns” finished out the set with levity in lighthearted, rag-tag bluegrass style.
Thankfully, I was able to make my way down to see them that night at The Bottle. On a night that Chicago was teeming with great shows (Devil Makes Three & Trampled By Turtles at The Double Door, Deer Tick at The Bottom Lounge), it only took me a couple of tunes to realize I had made a very wise decision. Unlike the acoustic, laid back session, Megafaun turned it up a notch on stage and rocked out.
Megafaun’s new album should be out soon and we’ll be sure to keep you posted. Based on “Volunteers” and the other new tunes we heard at The Bottle, it is going to be stellar. In the meantime wet your ear drums with these tracks and videos.
Video: Megafaun – Volunteers (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)
Video: Megafaun – The Longest Day (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)