Mega Bog (the world-inhabiting moniker of song-animator Erin Birgy) presents a new single/video, “Weight of the Earth, on Paper,” off of her forthcoming album, Life, and Another, out July 23rd (vinyl out August 27th) on Paradise of Bachelors. Following “Station to Station,” “Weight of the Earth, on Paper,” stirs with lightly moving percussion, keys, and Birgy’s velvet voice. In the track, named after the collection of memoir tapes by the artist David Wojnarowicz, poppies sprout in Birgy’s shadow and scare her companion while harpies circle above Loch Ness. For the self-directed video, Birgy enlisted the help of friends, including Big Thief’s James Krivchenia (who co-produced the album), Adrianne Lenker, and more. “The video for ‘Weight of the Earth, on Paper’ came out more pure Mega Bog than I even expected,” says Birgy. “We are a community of deep friends and collaborators, who move through the world as scrappy little archeologists who love to play dress up. I’m so thrilled to have the friends I have show up and trust me over and over again, and I’ll always be there to do the same.”
Recorded over several sessions in various studios—the Unknown in Anacortes, Washington, Way Out in Woodinville, Washington, and Tropico Beauty in Glendale, California—Life, and Another features instrumental contributions from longtime and new collaborators, including Aaron Otheim, Zach Burba of iji, Will Segerstrom, Matt Bachmann, Andrew Dorset of Lake, James Krivchenia of Big Thief, Meg Duffy of Hand Habits, Jade Tcimpidis, Alex Liebman, and co-engineers Geoff Treager and Phil Hartunian. The album was written while Birgy cohabited with co-producer, engineer, and percussionist James Krivchenia in a small cabin near the Rio Grande. There, Birgy found herself often alone between their separate touring schedules. These isolations opened a familiar black hole of troubling projections, and any desire to remain positive continued to fold back into self-destructive thought and fear. Over time, a budding interest in mindfulness, attachment theory, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and rage gave way to new productive brain processes. These creative juices followed Birgy on the road and into subsequent lonely bedrooms as the songs continued to flow.
Departing from the humid spider plant nursery of previous record Dolphine (2019), Life, and Another brings us back to our home planet, into the rarefied air pressure of a desert valley where its fourteen songs were written and scattered like stones in the landscape, each one a precious gem chiseled by Birgy. It stages a semi-fictionalized drama in the interior self, with scenes of collective longing at the bowling alley, disputes over a distended memory outside the bar, and solitary circling on the patio, looking out over the yard in stubborn awe. These memories, from both past and future, bubble up throughout the album. Life, and Another is another fantastical off-world transmission and her most sophisticated, exploratory, and accessible statement yet.
A limited-edition Life, and Another photo and song book, featuring images, songwriting and studio notes, collages and texts by Erin Birgy, and drawings by Zach Burba, designed by Joel Gregory, is available exclusively via Paradise of Bachelors.