Album of the Week: Mount Eerie | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Album of the Week: Mount Eerie

Now Only Out Now via P.W. Elverum & Sun

Mar 16, 2018 Woods Bookmark and Share

This week’s album of the week serves as a follow-up to the most stark, moving and genuinely heartbreaking records of last year, Mount Eerie‘s A Crow Looked At Me. Charting Phil Elverum’s immediate situation and emotional response to the death of his wife Geneviève in 2016, not long after the birth of the couple’s only child, a daughter, the album was a brutally honest document of death and grief delivered with remarkable, soft, melodic directness.

While A Crow Looked At Me was a record mired entirely in the moment of loss and its immediate aftermath, the cryptically, compellingly titled Now Only offers an insight into the aftermath of devastation and the way Elverum has found a path to follow, a means to, at least partially, move forward.

That’s not to say that this record is some kind of redemptive shedding of mourning clothes-Geneviève is somehow present here in every moment of every song-but for every line like the devastating “I sing to you / You don’t exist” from opener “Tintin In Tibet” there’s a shard of bleary-eyed hope like “In my tears right now, light gleams” from the wonderful “Distortion.”

The title track is, both amusingly and bafflingly, a kind of pop song, with a chorus melody that partially evokes The Smiths’ “Half a Person” and delivers the lines “People get cancer and die/People get hit by trucks and die/People just living their lives get erased for no reason/With the rest of us averting our eyes.” Recounting playing festival shows alongside the likes of Father John Misty in a similar diary, quick-fire style to Sun Kil Moon’s classic Benji, Elverum closes up the song with karmic clarity-“Taking in the night air I say, ‘now only.’”

“I wondered what could beacon me forward into the rest of life,” Elverum ponders on “Two Paintings By Nikolai Astrup,” perhaps the key lyric of this brief but beautiful 6-track album. On sequel song “Crow Pt. 2” he offers “we’re still here without you” and talks through his morning routine with their daughter-including listening to songs sung by Geneviève herself and weeping whilst eating eggs. This is important stuff-an acknowledgment of the fragility and resilience of humanity that at once brings a tear to the eye but can also stir the soul. This is a record for anyone that ever lost anyone; anyone that ever felt confused or alone in a situation they did not create; a record for anyone who feels powerless but is determined to find a way continue their existence.

While it’s certainly profoundly personal, Now Only whispers solace to anyone who needs it-and catharsis is something maybe we all need from time to time.

Read our review of Now Only.

Read our 2017 interview with Mount Eerie about A Crow Looked At Me.

Mount Eerie Tour Dates:

Mar. 22 - Maspeth, NY - Knockdown Center
Mar. 24 - Los Angeles, CA - The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian
Mar. 29 - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
Mar. 30 - Vancouver, BC - The Vogue Theatre
Mar. 31 - Everett, WA - Fisherman’s Village Music Festival

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

The Decemberists: I’ll Be Your Girl (Capitol)

JB Dunckel: H+ (Sony Music France/Jive Epic)

Dungen and Woods: Myths 003 (Mexican Summer)

Yo La Tengo: There’s a Riot Going On (Matador)

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