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Albums of the Year 2019: Mega Bog - Dolphine | reviews, news & interviews

Albums of the Year 2019: Mega Bog - Dolphine

Albums of the Year 2019: Mega Bog - Dolphine

Confirmation that Erin Birgy is ready for more than a cult audience

Erin Birgy aka Mega Bog’s ‘Dolphine’: allusiveness runs throughout the album

The lyrical and musical languages spoken by Dolphine are not immediate yet since its release earlier this year the album has repeatedly fascinated. Take “I Hear You Listening (to the Bug on My Wall)”, where Erin Birgy sings “Crazy Kermin in the hall, Shadow plant leaf bleats, Piano stumbling, I forgot all your songs.”

Although such allusiveness runs throughout the US singer-songwriter’s fourth album as Mega Bog the words of “Untitled (with ‘C’)” imply elements of its core may be an examination of state of her nation: “Another murder should still disturb you, Delivered like clubhouse music to a white supremacy.” Then, there’s the diving, scatting voice, the sinuous songs and their unpredictable melodies, and deft arrangements bringing together seemingly disparate instruments (flute, synthesiser).

Dolphine is distinctive, which of course helps it stand apart. It is also jazzy. But what really marks this bold missive as encapsulating a well-defined individual perspective is the melodies. Birgy writes memorable songs.

After Dolphine came out it became clear that despite seemingly nodding to late-Sixties mould-breakers like Love and Tim Buckley, Birgy’s touchstones are from the Seventies: Robert Wyatt, Weather Report bassist Jaco Pastorious and even Subway Sect’s Vic Godard. However, knowing this and adding it all together does not come up with Dolphine. The operative factor is Birgy herself and her world-view. However it's analysed, she has created an album which sounds like nothing else.

Where this takes her is impossible to predict. Increasingly often it’s the case that a song or two helps an idiosyncratic singer-songwriter gain traction. As has been the case with Angel Olsen and Weyes Blood. Whatever happens and despite Birgy’s string of previous releases, the stunning Dolphine stands as a convincing step towards a wider audience. That is, if she wants this. Watch this space.

Two More Essential Albums from 2019

Susanne Sundfør Music For People in Trouble: Live From the Barbican, WH Lung Incidental Music

Gigs of the Year

Anna von Hausswolff, Studenterhuset, Aalborg, 25 January 2019; Sofia Portanet, Arslan’s Kebap, Cologne, 4 May 2019; Mark Lewisohn, Bloomsbury Theatre, 28 September 2019

Track of the Year

Ultravox “Just For a Moment” (live at Stage One, Buffalo, New York, 4 March 1979)

Erin Birgy has created an album which sounds like nothing else

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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