Megafaun – Self-Titled [Album Review]

by Woody on September 28, 2011

Megafaun are one of my favorite bands. Their combination of American Beauty-esque Dead elements, hints of Southern twang and a pinch of Laurel Canyon sound makes for a worthy concoction. Add in their willingness and ability to push the envelope with unique elements makes them a truly special band. With HearYa friend BJ Burton at the helm as producer, Megafaun’s latest self-titled effort is their best yet.

Their sound has always sounded spontaneous – like they picked up instruments and began composing on the fly. We witnessed this feeling in our live session when drummer Joe Westerlund threw a kit together like MacGyver while Phil and Brad Cook plugged in. When asked if they wanted to run one through to warm up, they responded with “Nah, we’ll figure it out.”

The opening tune is aptly named “Real Slow.” After opening with a wandering acoustic, the song gently kicks into gear with Westerlund’s percussion and a guitar lick with shades of Jerry Garcia. I don’t know if “Real Slow” is meant to be truth in advertising or just a coincidence, but it’s these slowed down, gentler moments on Megafaun’s latest that shine.

Another standout track is “Everything” featuring Frazey Ford of The Be Good Tanyas. Her voice is achingly beautiful and it fits in wonderfully with Megafaun’s effortless folk sound. The ballad “Hope You Know” is a gorgeous ballad centered around a simple piano riff as Westerlund keeps a lazy beat – their vocal harmonies floating effortlessly above.

For those not in the know, these guys were in a band with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame. As Vernon was racking up accolades and kicking it with Kanye, I was telling anybody that would listen that Megafaun was better than Bon Iver and that they were missing the boat. Now that I’ve finally come around on Bon Iver (I love his latest release), my hope is that more people will come to know and love Megafaun. For Chicagoans, head out to Schubas tonight to see them in person.

Megafaun – Get Right

Megafaun – State/Meant

Here’s a video from our Live Session with Megafaun. The song “Volunteers” is from their EP, Heretofore.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melinda September 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm

For what it’s worth, this humble fan fell and fell hard for Megafaun after seeing them in London a few weeks back. Glad to see they’re on your list and getting a bit of love.

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