Published by Fire Songs and released on Paradise of Bachelors, the magical Mega Bog aka Erin Birgy returns with her new album ‘Life, and Another’ – another fantastical off-world transmission full of sync gems, and the most sophisticated, exploratory, and accessible statement yet from the surrealist songwriter and avant-pop prospector.
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.
Dark as everything may actually be, Birgy always manages to stay with trouble and conjure the extraordinary resulting music.
‘Life, and Another’ stages a semi-fictionalized drama in the community theatre of the interior self, with scenes of collective longing at the bowling alley, disputes over a distended memory outside the bar, and the solitary circling on the patio, looking out over the yard in stubborn awe. These memories, from both past and future, bubble up throughout the album and present their characters as new entries into the Mega Bog Book of Symbols. In “Station to Station” an artichoke, the decadent indulgence young Erin learned to steam for herself, is gutted around the spine. In “Weight of the Earth, on Paper” named after the collection of memoir tapes by the artist-warrior David Wojnarowicz, poppies sprout in Birgy’s shadow and scare her companion, while harpies circle above Loch Ness. Fantastical visions beget inherited family traumas that taunt withering romantic relationships.
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.