MEGA BOG – ” Life, and Another “

Posted: August 27, 2021 in MUSIC

The magical Mega Bog returns with another fantastical off-world transmission, the most sophisticated, exploratory, and accessible statement yet from surrealist songwriter and avant-pop prospector Erin Birgy. Featuring James Krivchenia (Big Thief), who co-produced, and Zach Burba (iji) among its cast of vibrant players, “Life, and Another” bristles with painterly technicolour surface textures while plumbing fathomless depths of feeling.

Cohabiting with “Life, and Another”s co-producer, engineer, and percussionist James Krivchenia (Big Thief) in a small cabin near the Rio Grande off of NM State Route 68, Birgy found herself often alone, suspended between their separate touring schedules. In these silent time passages, Birgy experienced a complete loss of self amid the expanse. Frequently thinking about death in the middle of nowhere opened a familiar black hole of troubling projections, and any desire to find freedom or remain positive continued to fold back into self-destructive thought and fear.

“Life, and Another”, the forthcoming album from Erin Birgy’s shapeshifting group Mega Bog, is so dense with information that it could conceivably come with its own volume of CliffsNotes… It’s a firehose of cryptic metaphors, veiled allusions, and seemingly disconnected thoughts sprayed against a bright, skeletal frame of jagged jazz-prog. At every turn lies a surfeit of detail that is thrilling and bewildering in equal measure.

“Maybe You Died,” though, is different. Where songs like “Weight of the Earth, on Paper” and “Crumb Back” are wiry and spry, this one is subdued: a sullen, minor-key slow burn led by the synths and guitars reminiscent of ’80s Springsteen in his elegiac mode. Birgy begins with a narrative setup whose economy could rival that of the world’s most famous six-word story: “Smell of wintergreen/Chewing gum/In a Coach leather bag/You gave me/Mom found/Curb sale/What an amazing/Two dollars,” she murmurs, covering four of the five senses in her first three lines alone. 

Dark as everything may actually be, Birgy always manages to stay with trouble and conjure the extraordinary resulting music.

Recorded over several sessions in various studios Life bleeds with instrumental contributions from longtime and new collaborators, including Aaron Otheim, Zach Burba of iji, Will Segerstrom, Matt Bachmann, Andrew Dorset of Lake, James Krivchenia of Big Thief, Meg Duffy of Hand Habits, Jade Tcimpidis, Alex Liebman, and co-engineers Geoff Treager and Phil Hartunian. Listeners know by now they can trust Mega Bog to continuously lead them into deeper and wilder, spiritual pop territories. Skittering piano glissandos, haunting psychic background voices, and tequila-inspired improvisations creep and crawl over the dark-night-of-the-soul rock and roll dreamscape, before vanishing to make way for invocations of quiet clarity and living-breathing instrumental passages.

8/10. Wonderfully eclectic and strangely uplifting… a dense, fantastical odyssey… a grooving flight of fancy into humid rhythms, unhinged cabaret vocals, furious guitar, and free-jazz skronk. – Uncut 

4 stars. As Life, and Another finishes, the lingering feeling is that it exists beyond definable time and space. Audaciously, it all coheres. The vision is precise and the execution meticulous.  – MOJO

Chamber-popper Erin Birgy unveils her gem of a new album with a synth-pop ballad that wafts through with all the poignancy and loveliness of Prefab Sprout. – The Guardian

For fans of Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush, Kevin Ayers, Bridget St John, David Bowie, Cate Le Bon, Aldous Harding, Big Thief and Nico.

Released through Paradise Of Bachelors 03/09/21

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.