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The trail discovered by 2008's Bury The Square, blazed by 2009's Gather, Form & Fly, and tended by 2010's Heretofore has run into a wide and rushing river. The band we know as Megafaun, born alongside Bon Iver in the ashes that rose from DeYarmond Edison (Brad Cook, Joe Westerlund, and Phil Cook's former band with Justin Vernon), has woven years of writing, touring, and living into a new sonic language. Critically praised and publicly loved for its ability to speak in the many tongues of American musical history – all while blending it with its own energetic and personal form of rock – Megafaun has staked a claim. But the lay of that land the band calls its own – the hills, valleys, and caves beneath – is just revealing itself in the sunrise. This is the band we know, but in a new light. This is Megafaun.
"It represents a fluidness, a trust, and serves as a gesture to a type of music that we all grew up listening to," writes Brad Cook about the opening track "Real Slow" on the band's latest release, a self-titled record (2011). Like Megafaun walking on stage in a dark and crowded venue, igniting the crowd with a smile and a strum of the guitar, "Real Slow" opens the door and invites you in. You'll hear a lot of stories on this album – from "These Words" and its journey of creation from Bali to South Carolina to California, to "Hope You Know" and its roots in Megafaun's youth in Wisconsin, where the band members grew up together and where they returned to record Megafaun in November 2010. "This is by far the most vulnerable I've ever felt about a song we've released," writes Phil Cook about "Hope You Know," hinting at the record's audible honesty. Like the greatest albums of our time, Megafaun is a true reflection of its creators – but there's room in that mirror for the rest of us.