When you are let into someone’s unthinkable personal tragedy, attention sharpens. Senses are micro focused on the details of substance and the pathways to its understanding open wider. Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie has confided through the sharing of his song and video “Ravens” today, revealing his process of coping with the sudden and particularly sad loss of his wife Geneviève Castrée. Geneviève was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just four months after giving birth to their daughter in 2015 and died a year later. “The video was directed by Elverum and created using footage shot by himself and Castrée in the months and years before her death, reflecting the intimate, candid nature of the music.” Song’s don’t get more on the sleeve than this, or more achingly stunning and the opening imagery of Geneviève running on the beach into a distant fog is the work’s essence.
Elverum wrote his new album A Crow Looked At Me, out March 24th onP.W. Elverum & Sun, during the fall of 2016, after Geneviève’s death. It was created in the very room in which she passed, using her instruments and writing his words on her paper. As described in the press statement:
“The songs are about the brutal details of that experience, from the hospitalizations to the grieving, the specific domestic banalities that become existential in the context of such huge and abrupt loss. These songs are not fun. They are pretty and they are deep, and they find a love that prevails beneath the overwhelming and real sorrow. It is unlike anything else in the Mount Eerie catalog in its unvarnished expressions of personal grief, metaphor-free.”