Awaited for years by the large nationwide cult of Boggers in the know, Erin Birgy’s second LP at the helm of the fog-shrouded ship they call MEGA BOG is an instant and timeless classic. It’s equal parts nostalgic and futuristic, mapping a new, jazz-literate and free form of songcraft onto the model of the traditional guitar-based band. It’s poetry on roller skates, defying recognizable structures in favor of a stream-of-consciousness flow that guides Erin’s lyrics around their many soft and uncertain turns. It’s an inspiring example of a unique vision carried to its most honest and vulnerable realization.
Happy Together was assembled on tape amidst a lot of movement, including Erin’s relocation from Seattle to New York. Like Joni Mitchell or Beefheart, Birgy has a seemingly magical ability to steer a diverse bunch of players into her own dream-world. And this album has a lot of players, many with big credentials we’ll refrain from mentioning (except for Zach Burba and Will Murdoch from iji, and James Krivchenia from Big Thief, who earn mentions for being particularly present). Considering its variety of personnel and its long gestation, Happy Together is a remarkably consistent and complete record that cuts the deepest when experienced from start to finish, as it arcs from the surreal bubblegum tempos of “Diznee” and “Marianne,” through the extended dreamscapes of songs like “192014,” and out to the free-wheeling catharsis of “Blackout” and “Fwee.” Take the journey.