sat 21/09/2019

CD: Mega Bog - Dolphine | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Mega Bog - Dolphine

CD: Mega Bog - Dolphine

Offbeat adventurousness from Erin Birgy’s musical alter-ego

Mega Bog's 'Dolphine': haunting

On “Truth in the Wild”, Erin Birgy sings “Never smother the mystical song that rests deep inside you.” Accordingly, its parent album Dolphine confirms she has no intention of suppressing her vision. Conceptually, the 11 compositions are linked by the premise a being evolved in parallel with humans after our distant ancestors left the oceans – the sub-aqua “dolphine”. The inspiration appears to be that spirits survive after death. Perhaps the cover's medical ultrasound image relates to this?

The haunting Dolphine is US singer-songwriter Birgy’s fourth album as Mega Bog. It opens with “For the Old World”. A rippling guitar glissando and shimmering bells lay the table for a lush, jazzy excursion incorporating flutes. Short discursive melodic digressions fuse with the whole without upsetting the flow. Birgy’s voice is conversational yet melodic and skips, scat-style, up and down the scale. Offbeat. Compelling too.

As the album progresses, it becomes ever-more evident the defining sensibility would have found sympathetic ears as the Sixties gave way to the Seventies. Two minutes into second track “I Hear You Listening (to the Bug on my Wall)”, stabbing electric guitar recalls Stacey Sutherland’s work on Easter Everywhere, the 13th Floor Elevators second album. Kindred sonic voyagers – though all are musically different – are the immediately post-folk rock Tim Buckley of Starsailor, Love’s Four Sail and lost fellow Elektra Records signee David Stoughton. Birgy’s voice is as direct and unsettling as Dory Previn’s. In performance, she has covered Kevin Ayers and Kate Bush. Gilberto Gil's late-Sixties sound-worlds were playfully crafted in the same way. Mary Ocher (like Birgy, a favourer of cassette albums) and Jessica Sligter are contemporary travellers operating on similar bandwidths.

The heady title track and the beautiful instrumental ”Fwee Again” most directly make the case but Dolphine has to be heard as whole. What a treat to encounter such unfettered adventurousness.

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