Megafaun resides in a world of duality: Wisconsin natives & North Carolina transplants; brothers & friends; tight folk & rambling jams. On their latest release things are no different. The six tracks on Heretofore give us a healthy dose of Americana and experimental wanderings in nearly equal measure.
Consisting of floating vocals and a meaty electric guitar, the title track is satisfyingly calming and introduces the less organic side of the record with electronic blips and slides. “Eagle” is a bit weirder, employing strikingly visual lyrics (“mouth like a needle / mouth that won’t quit”) backed by singularly picked notes, eventually breaking into a back-country groove that Wilco could have written had they formed in the sticks in the 70s and listened to a lot of Three Dog Night. The experimentation culminates with the 12:31 improvisation that is “Comprovisation for Connor Pass”. Taken from the first fifteen minutes of a four-hour jam session, it boasts some absolutely gorgeous moments, but has too much that just doesn’t make the cut to be a go-to track.
On the flip side are Heretofore‘s more conventional (but no less creative) cuts. “Carolina Days” is upbeat and down-home. The reedy quality of “Bonnie’s Song” makes one want to cuddle up with someone on a pier, lemonade in hand. “Volunteers” completes the picture, its lovely banjo grounding a nice sway as a harmonica warms things up, giving into guitar as golden as the setting sun, while the lyrics speak deceptively simple truths like “love won’t compensate for all the things we never say and all the things we should.”