Mega Bog is the moniker of song-dribbler Erin Birgy, a Pacific Northwest rodeo child with an unmistakable laugh who was allegedly cursed upon conception. Over the past 8 years the band has stretched and wandered in a crescendo towards musical freedom.
Now based in New Mexico, Birgy has adopted a band of wiggly jazz cartoons lifted from bands like Big Thief, iji, Big Eater, Pillwonder, Causings, Hand Habits, Heatwarmer, Little Angry and others. Melodies always lush, erotic, and free. Chords always dissonant, abstract and evolutionary. Dizzying fusion of lounge, pop and bouncing rocks under poetic tantrums of love gone all the way wrong. Listen closer.
Awaited for years by the large nationwide cult of Boggers in the know, Erin Birgy’s second LP at the helm of the fog-shrouded ship they call Mega Bog, Happy Together, is an instant and timeless classic. It’s equal parts nostalgic and futuristic, mapping a new, jazz-literate and free form of songcraft onto the model of the traditional guitar-based band. It’s poetry on roller skates, defying recognizable structures in favor of a stream-of-consciousness flow that guides Erin’s lyrics around their many soft and uncertain turns. It’s an inspiring example of a unique vision carried to its most honest and vulnerable realization.
Happy Together was assembled on tape amidst a lot of movement, including Erin’s relocation from Seattle to New York. Like Joni Mitchell or Beefheart, Birgy has a seemingly magical ability to steer a diverse bunch of players into her own dream-world. And this album has a lot of players, many with big credentials we’ll refrain from mentioning (except for Zach Burba and Will Murdoch from iji, and James Krivchenia from Big Thief, who earn mentions for being particularly present).
Considering its variety of personnel and its long gestation, Happy Together is a remarkably consistent and complete record that cuts the deepest when experienced from start to finish, as it arcs from the surreal bubblegum tempos of “Diznee” and “Marianne,” through the extended dreamscapes of songs like “192014,” and out to the free-wheeling catharsis of “Blackout” and “Fwee.” Take the journey.