Mega Bog is the fluid musical moniker of songwriter Erin Elizabeth Birgy, who has spent the last ten years channelling, capturing, and releasing her unique bouquet of fragrant, sci-fi pop experiments with a handful of bicoastal collaborators. She is joined on her fifth and finest album (and first for PoB) by members of Big Thief, Hand Habits, and iji, who help her spin a manic web of emotions into beautiful, abstract future poems and thrilling genre perversions. Mega Bog has visited a significant portion of the Western world, frequently looping the USA and Europe to sing in tiny art spaces and haunted historical theatres alike. The live concerts are known for their emotional unpredictability.
The title of Mega Bog’s newest album Dolphine is inspired by a myth that suggests that, as humankind evolved from sea creatures, some individuals chose not to leave the water and walk the earth, but rather to stay in the ocean and explore the darkness as dolphins. (The extra “e” was added to take the word out of the every day, translating it into a potential futuristic dialect.) The songwriting was inspired by Erin’s own swim through a myriad of overwhelming emotions, including the ongoing mourning following the death of her childhood horse companion Rose, her navigation of the feelings and physicality of two abortions, and the hapless and shattering social, political, and environmental turmoil on the planet. In October of 2016, Erin took her dark sketches to the Outlier Inn studio in Woodridge, NY, with a passionate crew of deeply bonded musicians.
Together, they arranged and executed these eleven dizzy pop songs, live, over a tight seven days. The completed sound is thick and inviting. Bellowing, breathless vocals, mystical lyrics with the presence of poetry and the intuitive logic of dreams, and promiscuous, sometimes dissonant chord structures swirl together, coalescing into hazy and hypnotic fantasies. On album opener “For the Old World,” anguished affection and confusion bloom over lounge-music genre perversions, both ethereal and belligerent. On “Diary of a Rose,” Erin steps through her losses and growths to a continuous groove that crescendoes into melodic chaos and revelation. “Truth in the Wild” (the title is taken from a quote by Ian Cheng) speaks surreal and lonely images over soft percussion, classical guitars, and clarinet, pointing to influences like Joni Mitchell’s jazz period and Laurie Anderson’s 1989 record Strange Angels. “Untitled (with ‘C’)” was written for Philando Castile the day after his murder, and “Fwee Again” works through all of Dolphine’s devotions instrumentally. Ash Rickli wrote and sang the airy outlier “Spit in the Eye of the Fire King,” recorded on the porch of the studio with the wind chimes blowing. Between the album’s recording sessions and its release, Ash’s heart stopped unexpectedly during one of his live shows in Athens, Georgia. He was thirty. The tragedy, devastating to the many people who loved him, permeates the album
A1. For The Old World 3:57
A2. I Hear You Listening (to The Bug On My Wall) 3:41
A3. Diary Of A Rose 4:40
A4. Dolphine 3:15
A5. Left Door 3:16
B1. Spit In The Eye Of The Fire King (by Ash Rickli) 1:52
B2. Truth In The Wild 3:59
B3. Shadows Break 2:05
B4. Untitled (with “C”) 2:00
B5. Fwee Again 4:25
B6. Waiting In The Story 3:27