Okay guys, this is really exciting, and probably the best thing I’ve heard from this band yet. If you’re a sucker for the extraneous sounds of rushing water layered with tribal drums and flush with full, traveling, colorful harmonies, this track is going to blow your mind. It’s beautifully mixed. Rolling Stone is calling Megafaun a “band to watch,” but these guys have been making excellent, smart, folky-feeling stuff for a while now—”These Words,” in fact, is a sneak peek of a single off their fourth album, Heretofore. Other fun fact: The album was recorded at Justin Vernon’s house in Fall Creek, Wisconsin. Brothers Brad and Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund were originally in a band called DeYarmond Edison with the main man behind Bon Iver, but went their separate ways in 2006—Megafaun went off to produce Bury the Square in 2008 and Vernon the classic For Emma, Forever Ago. Talent often comes in clusters of awesome and then disperses, but even if it’s been in the shadow of Bon Iver’s, Megafaun’s trajectory is certainly one to follow.
From the Megafaun’s mouth:
“I think this record’s pretty direct, pretty honest, pretty vulnerable. The element of weirdness is more integrated and more subtle,” explains Cook. “Our banjo player Phil’s main instrument is piano and he wrote a lot more of this record on it. So the songwriting changed, and it felt like an ode to a lot of music we’ve grown up listening to: the Beatles, Jackson Browne, the Dead, Paul McCartney’s solo stuff like Ram. We’re still growing a lot as songwriters, so it feels good to absorb those things in a more direct way.” [via Rolling Stone]
Acknowledging the Beatles as a direct influence? Call me old-fashioned, but happy, happy day.
Listen to “These Words” from Heretofore (it drops September 20) over here at Rolling Stone.