Song of the Day: Megafaun – Volunteers

photo by DL Anderson

photo by DL Anderson

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Volunteers” by Megafaun from the 2010 album Heretofore on Hometapes.

Megafaun – Volunteers (MP3)

Call them workaholics, but Megafaun won’t stop making music. Less than a year after the release of their sophomore LP, Gather, Form and Fly, the North Carolinian trio’s mini-album, Heretofore, a collection of six songs written and recorded in six weeks between tours is slated for release this summer. And the band, as they say, sees it as an exercise of sorts.

DeYarmond Edison (which included Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on bill) was dissolved in 2006 and the remaining three members brothers Phil and Brad Cook, and Joe Westerlund subsequently formed Megafaun. They booked a seven-day tour without having any songs written, a testament to their improvisational spirit, commitment to collaborative songwriting, and spontaneity.

“Volunteers” aches. It is neither a heartbreaking nor uplifting song, but something in between, and the chorus denotes that no matter which way the emotions sway you gotta keep going in spite of the uncertainty. The chorus takes you on a ride, and the Appalachian influenced twang is lazy, and intricate. From a soulful drone to a soothing high. Sounds impromptu, and relaxed, but the group’s experience and long (in Brad and Phil’s case, lifelong) history makes for a tight knit cohesion that seems as if they are making it up as they go and intuitively keeping in time with another.

In the midst of their first headlining tour of the US that started late March after spending years and miles and miles on the road with Bon Iver, The Dodos, Akron/Family, Arnold Dreyblatt, and fellow North Carolinians, Bowerbirds. Next chance to catch them in the Northwest will be in Portland in early August. Check tour dates on their MySpace page and watch La Blogotheque’s Take Away Show in Montreal with Megafaun playing our song of the day in a sidewalk cafe:

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