Gather, Form & Fly Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sophomore album gathers music from two discs for the North Carolina-based band.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Megafaun fits squarely in the bearded Caucasian folkie camp, but the ethereal Gather, Form & Fly is far too extraterrestrial-sounding to be bound to this planet, much less this country.
  2. All the sounds and ideas emanate from the same sources and desires, and the prismatic contrasts between them illuminate this intriguing and heartfelt album.
  3. Gather, Form & Fly is a stunning leap forward for a great young band.
  4. It is a record which drinks deeply from the well of the past but could only have been made today. Megafaun have cast off the weight of the canon and are spreading their wings.
  5. Gather, Form & Fly is a bright record full of energy and dynamism even in its most cacophonous sound collages, but what’s so frustrating--what becomes more urgent with every listen--is how great this album could have been.
  6. Megafaun continue to move further out from underneath the shadow of their ex-fourth member, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. [Summer 2009, p.74]
  7. Megafaun are just as taken by quietly tortured dark-night-of-the-soul whisperings, lo-fi oddities, and shards of feedback shade as they are of banjos and summertime evenings, giving Gather, Form and Fly a bit of an unsettled edge at various points.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. PaulC
    Aug 31, 2009
    10
    This band makes the most beautiful music in the world.
  2. MattB.
    Sep 22, 2009
    9
    An exclamation of Americana, Megafaun's "Gather, Form & Fly" brings into harmony much of the music that has transformed our ears in decades past. Driven forth by guitar, banjo, a mesmerizing set of percussive poetry and the occasional mix of keys and horns, each track effectively builds upon the last, and moves with a swelling tide of emotion. The album's title track, essentially a 3 minute-long instrumental piece with a short set of lyrics that hark back to band's Northern roots (North wind sayin', "It's time / to find the summer sky / before the leaves all die / gather, form and fly"). The instrumental introduction of the song, however, is the blazing leaf in the sea of a golden deciduous autumn. It weaves a delicate harmony that is brought, at times, to a sudden halt and silence, then is reanimated with further vigor and lust for life, changing the overall tone ever so slightly, and in just the perfect increments to construct such an elegant tune. This motif of change is what makes this album so rock-solid and full of never-ending surprise. "Impressions of the Past," another largely instrumental track, is a testament to the band's roots in jazz, and also to their position in contemporary rock. After shattering their masterful 2-minute long jam with a squealing bow and a crash of cymbal, the song collapses, reconstructs itself and sings with triumph as it begins to run for the hills, leaving you to wonder, "Where has this band been all my life?" No modern album wouldn't be complete without a sing-a-long style crowd builder like "Guns," which also contemporarily breaks down into a Wilco-esque (think "Poor Places") hum and drone of bowing cymbals, haunting vocals, and electronic squeals. It is also followed by another prerequisite, a solemn closing song, "Tides," which brings the album full circle, back into the beautiful harmonies that this band builds itself upon. "Gather, Form & Fly," is nothing short of a glorious accomplishment for a band that is sure to produce far more brilliant work in the years to come. Following some tried-and-true forms of album construction, Megafaun Expand