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Album Review

For their third studio album, spacy North Carolina-based, alt-country-folk trio Megafaun dial back the more progressive elements of their sound in favor of a languid, Laurel Canyon-inspired foundation that treads the middle ground between Blitzen Trapper's experimental, neo-Southern rock romancing, and Will Oldham's post-Palace Music infatuation with American Beauty-era Grateful Dead. While the eponymous Megafaun is far less exploratory than its predecessors, that doesn’t mean that the band has forsaken its acid-folk roots. At 15 tracks, some of which clock in at over seven minutes, it’s obvious that brevity is a word best left to grace the studio door mat, but outside of the Phishy, jazz-tinged “Isadora,” there’s little here that isn’t instantly accessible. Richly textured and laden with long, cavernous harmonies, songs like “Real Slow” and “Get Right” feel lived in and highway ready, while simpler, more compact cuts such as “Resurrection” and “State/Meant” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on fellow Carolina crooners the Avett Brothers' elegant I and Love and You.


Formed: Raleigh, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When Justin Vernon left Raleigh, North Carolina by way of Eau Claire, Wisconsin indie folkers DeYarmond Edison to go on to late-2000s indie wunderkind status as Bon Iver, the remaining members of DE -- Phil Cook, Brad Cook, and Joe Westerlund -- carried on in North Carolina as Megafaun. With an impossible to pinpoint, laid-back lo-fi sound incorporating Byrds-esque harmonies, elegiac folk picking, and off-kilter instrumentation (think a rougher around the edges Fleet Foxes), Megafaun earned accolades...
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Megafaun, Megafaun
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