Life, and another, a narrative journey beyond the genre
On her sixth album since her debut in 2011, Mega Bog’s last release was in 2019 with Dolphin, an album inspired by a myth that humans were once sea creatures, and some choose to stay like dolphins. Her unique stories and vivid imagination extend beyond this single project and often have others that link her musical ambitions to similar artists like Yoko Ono or Animal Collective.
This distinct style bleeds all over the 14 songs in its new release. Life, and another, with Mega Bog continues its mission to create a complex Something of distinction, whether the versatility is found in the lyrics or the instrumentals, it is always new.
With the first track, “Flower”, the bossa nova influences are evident through the sounds of the nylon string guitar, the satisfactorily clean piano and the unobtrusive drums. Complete with quick lyrics relayed in some sort of speaking form, the overall song has a very satisfying coffee sound, like something from Fiona Apple’s. Extraordinary love album. “Believe in my love,” Birgy sings, and it feels like something is blossoming.
In “Station to Station” the emphasis is more on the electronic influences of these crunch-synth sounds. Add to that some Grimes-like bass vocals and a ‘Kiss from a Rose’ synth from the 90s; the whole song is very universal, underground pop.
At the start of “Crumb Back,” the more modern guitar riffs make listeners expect something more akin to the lazy pop skater, but come in the drums hit and a solo sax, and suddenly it comes down to it. ‘is a mix of jazz, country-eqsue slide guitar, and surf pop. The result is something beachy and big as a genie enchants people on the beach in Los Angeles.
The title song “Life, And Another” is a quirky story about a dream, and it’s truly a journey from its high-pitched piano chords to its elusive chimes. “Maybe You Died” is a reflective, ethereal track with low 80s synth sounds and a saxophone about exploring potential realities.
The instrumental track “Darmok” is a low register oceanic experience, like the best part of a movie soundtrack, or a transition between worlds, with a bass guitar, a shy piano and a vibrating synth. The other short instrumental interludes, “Adorable” and “Bull of Heaven” are sister tracks, with “Adorable” having a more live, mellow and psychedelic-rock side and “Bull of Heaven” with a more hard rock focus on the music. .
“Obsidian Lizard” has a sound similar to Anamanaguchi’s electronic game worlds, while “Before a Black Tea” has a particular focus on Yoko Ono. A cool guitar-centric song, “Ameleon,” chirps the room in an ethereal pop tone, very reminiscent of Wolf Alice songs. With Mega Bog mocking the listener throughout, telling a dreamlike story amidst new instruments, playing slowly, like the song played after the last call. And just like that, the intoxicating river journey of this album is over.
With Life and the other, novelty is perhaps an element of ska, modern pop and jazz. Whatever Mega Bog decides to do, she does. Her ability to tap into different sounds on all levels is something rare and admirable, and she certainly deserves her place as an established experimental artist.