Steel yourself. You cannot go lightly into a new Mount Eerie album. Last year, Mount Eerie released A Crow Looked At Me, one of the year’s best albums. Phil Elverum, the man who records as Mount Eerie, made the album while still reeling from the loss of his wife Geneviève Castrée, who died of cancer in 2016. It’s about as stark and intense a piece of music as you can imagine. Even if you loved it, chances are you didn’t put it on very often.
Next week, Elverum will release his new album Now Only, his second since Castrée’s passing. Just as much as A Crow Looked At Me, Now Only is the sound of a destroyed man coming to terms with his new life. Structurally, it’s different; this time around, Elverum has let his songs sprawl, the album’s seven tracks taking up 43 minutes. The sound is just slightly fuller, and the perspective is very different. Elverum spends stretches of the album contemplating the strangeness of traveling the world, singing songs about his dead wife, sometimes at festivals. (The lyrics include the word “Skrillex” more often than you might expect.) But it’s still a devastating listen, still stark and plain about the hole at the center of Elverum’s life.
We’ve already posted two of the album’s songs, “Distortion” and “Tintin In Tibet.” And now, you can stream the whole album online. Don’t go into it lightly, but do go into it. Listen to the album at NPR.
Now Only is out 3/16 via P.W. Elverum & Sun.