Heretofore lurches well beyond the confines of the breathtaking rustic songcraft they're known for, but every experiment is drenched in gorgeous melodies and inventive instrumentation. In short, it's Megafaun's most effortless, assured work to date.
They tease out old ideas and combine them with new ones, affixing Appalachian folk to classic rock, ambient, avant garde, and a kind of musical entropy that pushes many of their songs into sputtering, oddly compelling noise.
Megafaun have promised a full-sized follow-up to last year's stellar Gather, Form and Fly by year's end, but this six-song appetizer will serve nicely for anyone pining for new material from these North Carolina avant bards.
The six-song Heretofore breaks down fairly neatly into a clutch of songs where the more unsettled side of the band's work exists as shading to fairly formal compositions and one big song where that overtly exploratory side is front and center.
Heretofore highlights the technical skill and genre-blurring vision that makes Megafaun one of the most captivating acts in Americana. But when their ideas run too far out of bounds, the album also makes it clear that Megafaun hasn't quite figured themselves out yet.