As the new year ramps up and we head towards the post-holiday uptick in touring, we have several exciting national acts making stops in Nashville in the coming weeks to look forward to. One can’t-miss show for fans of expansive, avant-garde, and genre-bending indie rock is Destroyer‘s return to Mercy Lounge tonight, Feb. 1 where the Dan Bejar-led group last performed in 2015. Out in support of excellent new LP ken, Destroyer give Bejar’s more high-profile project, The New Pornographers, a run for their money in every respect, and live, especially with two decades of excellent back catalogue, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Opening things up, Erin Birgy’s Mega Bog couldn’t be better matched for this bill, and their own poetic, artsy indie pop hit near-perfection on last year’s incredible Happy Together. Tickets for this stacked show are still available here while they last, and you can read on to find out more!
Though he might be best-known for his involvement in beloved Canadian indie rock collective The New Pornographers (though still technically in the group, he’s currently inactive, and was, for the first time ever, absent from their latest album), Vancouver based singer-songwriter Dan Bejar has had an even longer and more prolific run with his eclectic, abstract, artsy indie outfit Destroyer. What began as a solo project in the mid-’90s, characterized by lo-fi, minimalist home recordings, Destroyer had begun to take on the form of a full band by the turn of the millennium, with their first decade of records adopting an especially stark contrast in approach, instrumentation, cohesiveness, and influence on each release. By the mid-’00s, Destroyer had landed on a more conventional and a focused indie rock sound, gravitating towards more baroque, orchestral, and chamber pop influences by the end of the decade, and even pulling from jazz in recent years. Since the late ’00s, the group have gone from niche, genre-bending, beloved indie act to one that regularly garners critical praise and broad appeal, with increased touring, television appearances, and accolades. As Bejar’s focus has, for now, seemingly landed solely on Destroyer, the project has produced four full-lengths and three EPs in under a decade, most recently last year’s excellent ken, a worthy followup to standout 2015 effort Poison Season, and are renowned for their expansive, unique live show. We loved their last Mercy Lounge outing, and have been patiently waiting for years for a chance to see the band once more; you should do the same.
Like Destroyer, Mega Bog‘s creative genesis revolves around the offbeat and eclectic sensibilities of one singular, talented musical force, in this case Brooklyn by way of Seattle singer-songwriter Erin Birgy. Rounded out by a talented and frequently rotating array of contributors, many currently or formerly associated with other buzzy acts in the indie scene, Mega Bog fuses smart, enigmatic, poetic, and personal lyricism with layered, alluring, flashy, and hypnotic instrumentation, marrying pop and jazz and indie in a seductive and enthralling way. Perfectly paired to compliment Destroyer, the group’s 2017 sophomore effort, Happy Together, was easily one of the most underrated releases of last year. Be sure to show up early or you’re sorely missing out.
Destroyer and Mega Bog will perform tonight, Feb. 1 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.