Impressionists of Experimental Folk

Photo by Derek Anderson

North Carolina based Megafaun — comprised of brothers Brad and Phil Cook along with fellow Eau Claire, Wis., native Joe Westerlund — is still soaring on the momentum of their 2009 critically acclaimed second album, Gather, Form & Fly

With all of its divergent musical colors, Gather, Form and Fly (on Portland’s Hometapes label) is a vividly tighter step up from Megafaun’s 2008 debut Bury the Square. They take their traditional musical roots and brilliantly set them askew. Their palette — time-honored but occasionally psychedelic folk instrumentation, abstract sound collages and influences that hint of The Byrds and Smile-era Brian Wilson — is used more deftly than before, as is evident in the restless, shape-changing “Impressions of the Past.” It’s splattered with a mixture of audible textures and vocally finalized by “When all the colors keep on shifting / The truth is not found in the hue / It’s in my perspective anew.”

Coming off of a successful European tour at the end of 2009, the band found themselves with a couple of free months before hitting the road on their first headlining U.S. tour. That wasn’t a long enough break to get real jobs, so they wrote and recorded every day, treating their music like a 9 to 5 job. They ended up with 13 songs, five of which rose to the top, destined to become the EP Heretofore, out this summer.
This article was originally published in Eugene Weekly, April 15, 2010

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