Mount Eerie

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Mount Eerie
Phil Elverum performing as Mount Eerie in March 2012
Phil Elverum performing as Mount Eerie in March 2012
Background information
OriginAnacortes, Washington, U.S.
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitars
  • bass
  • piano
  • synth
  • keyboards
  • drums
Years active2003–present
LabelsP.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd.
Associated acts
Websitepwelverumandsun.com
MembersPhil Elverum

Mount Eerie is the musical project of American songwriter and producer Phil Elverum. Elverum (also of the Microphones) is the principal member of the band, but has collaborated with many other musicians on his records and in live performances. Most of Mount Eerie's releases have been issued on Elverum's label P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd., and feature highly detailed packaging with his own artwork.[1]

History[edit]

2003–2005: Career beginnings[edit]

Elverum at UCLA in May 2004 (shortly after switching from The Microphones to Mount Eerie)

Following the release of the Microphones' Mount Eerie album, Elverum announced that he would no longer use the Microphones moniker, opting instead to record under the name Mount Eerie, after the area in Anacortes, Washington called Mount Erie. In an interview with CITR-FM's Discorder in September 2003, Elverum gave his reasons for this change: "Mount Eerie is a new project. The Microphones was completed, or at least at a good stopping point. I did it because I am ready for new things. I am new."[2] Around this time, Elverum also changed the spelling of his own surname (previously, Elvrum).[3]

The first Mount Eerie releases included a limited edition CD of new recordings (Seven New Songs of "Mount Eerie"), a 12" EP recorded live to acetate with local musicians during an Australian tour (Mount Eerie Dances with Wolves), and a live triple album released by Burnt Toast Vinyl in late 2004 (Live in Copenhagen).[4]

Elverum returned to his hometown of Anacortes after spending several years living in Olympia, Washington whilst recording for K Records, and established his own label and imprint, P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd. The first official Mount Eerie studio album in Phil's eyes was "No Flashlight" Songs of the Fulfilled Night, released in August 2005. The original pressing featured an extremely large fold-out sleeve with extensive footnotes and explanations. Following pressings of the album feature more simple packaging with the original liner notes and poster absent.

2006–2015: Touring and further releases[edit]

Elverum performing in 2008
Elverum performing in 2010

Elverum has continued to tour and record prolifically in recent years, to considerable critical acclaim.[5] Noteworthy releases have included Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7 (a hardcover coffee-table book of Elverum's photography, packaged with a 10" record), Lost Wisdom (recorded with Julie Doiron and Frederick Squire), and Wind's Poem (a black metal-influenced double-album, recorded with Nicholas Krgovich). In 2012, Elverum released two albums, Clear Moon and Ocean Roar. He was also chosen to perform at Jeff Mangum's All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Minehead, England.[6] An admirer of Netural Milk Hotel, he stated it was an "honor to be chosen."[7] In 2013, Elverum was a part of the Primavera Sound line up.[8] A new Mount Eerie double-album entitled Sauna was released on February 2, 2015.[9]

2017–2020: A Crow Looked at Me, Now Only and Lost Wisdom Pt. 2[edit]

In January 2017, the song "Real Death" was released from the forthcoming album A Crow Looked at Me.[10] A second single, "Ravens", was released on February 15.[11] On March 24, A Crow Looked at Me was released to high critical praise. Exclaim!'s Alex Hudson scored the album a 9 out of 10, calling the record an "emotionally nuanced meditation on death that is both heartbreaking and hopeful."

January 2018, the album Now Only was announced along with the release of the album track "Distortion". A press release indicated that the album was written in 2017 shortly following the death of Geneviève Castrée, Phil's wife. The album was officially released March 16, 2018 to positive reviews, with The Atlantic describing the album as a progression from A Crow Looked At Me: "not an experience of total sadness, featuring flashes of irony, hope, and love".[12]

After touring North America in the summer of 2017, Elverum played songs from A Crow Looked at Me across Europe and Australasia.[13][14] The second of these shows became (after), a live recording eventually released in September 2018 and was well received by Pitchfork who noted "the most striking thing about (after) is that, even after so many performances, these songs sound as raw as they did when Elverum first committed them to paper and tape".[15] On September 25, 2019, Elverum announced a sequel to his 2008 collaboration with Julie Doiron, Lost Wisdom, entitled Lost Wisdom pt. 2. it was released on November 8, 2019. Two singles were released.[16][17] On January 28, 2020 Elverum announced a North American tour in support of the album.[18] That same week as the announcement Elverum toured through Canada with singer Angel Olsen.[18] The tour was set to take place in April of that year with Julie Doiron accompanying him however was cancelled and rescheduled to October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[18][19] Elverum also announced a show with Angel Olsen at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell on July 22.[19]

In 2020, Elverum appeared on a charity compilation album entitled The Song Is Coming from Inside the House. All proceeds from the album will go to Groundswell's Rapid Response Fund, a charity intended to help "provides fast funding to grassroots organizations led by women of color, trans people of color, and low-income women and trans people in critical".[20][21] Elverum was also featured on the 20th anniversary reissue Mirah's debut album, You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This; performing an "Of Pressure" cover.[22]

Artistry[edit]

Elverum's music under the Mount Eerie moniker expresses a close relationship to nature and the pacific northwest, in particular the minute details.[23][24] In a 2014 interview, Elverum discussed how his choice for moniker coming from a mountain in Anacortes, was a way of enfusing a sense of regional connection between the music and the place.[25] My Bloody Valentine, George Gurdjieff and black metal have all been cited by Elverum as influences to the project.[26]

His lyrical matter has been seen by some to be more introspective than his work before the name change.[27] Brady Baker of Spectrum Culture called Mount Eerie "a solid foundation for an ever-expanding lyrical labyrinth that centers on his introspective philosophy."[28] Eric Hill of Exclaim! believed the opposite, writing that Elverum's work under the Mount Eerie title is more "universal and, at times, hermetic."[24] Elverum also believed that the songs under Mount Eerie were more universal describing them as "this one long chain, about the idea of singing from the point of view of this dark looming mountain shape, while Microphones songs, historically, have been more personally narrative, maybe more human."[29]

Musically, Elverum has experimented with "black metal, lo-fi krautrock, fuzzy post-rock textures and Auto-Tune experimentation".[30]

Reception[edit]

Kerrang! included Mount Eerie on their list 10 non-metal artists enjoyed by metal fans.[31]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

EPs and other albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "2 Songs" (2005)
  • "In The World/I Love You Guys (slow)" (2005)
  • "I Whale" (2006)
  • "Prisoner of Desire/Through the Trees (excerpt)" (2008)
  • "Alphabet Series Ö 7"" (2012)
  • "To The Ground/The Mouth Of Sky (M.I.D.I. Strings)" (2012)
  • "World Heaves 7"" (2012)
  • "Distorted Cymbals/Angelpoise Cymbals" (2012)
  • "World Heaves b/w Engel der Luft (Popol Vuh) (version)" (2012)
  • "The Place Lives (version)/The Place I Live (version)" (2012)
  • "Clear Moon/Ocean Roar (Condensed Versions)" (2012)
  • "Live With Odeon Quartet" (2013)
  • "Emptiness (version)" (2014)
  • "Real Death" (2017)
  • "Ravens" (2017)
  • "Distortion" (2018)
  • "Tintin in Tibet" (2018)
  • "Soria Moria (live)" (2018)
  • "2 remixes by Wolves in the Throne Room" (2018)
  • "(fireworks & wind)" (2019)
  • "Love Without Possession" (2019)
  • "Belief Pt. 2" (2019)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • "The Song Is Coming from Inside the House" (2020)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elverum, Phil (August 31, 2014). "Biography of Phil Elverum". Pwelverumandsun.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Discorder.ca – The Microphones Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Microphones - Pitchfork". Pitchfork.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. ^ Gormley, Ian (November 5, 2018). "Microphones, Mount Eerie and Melancholy: The Career of Phil Elverum". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  5. ^ "Mount Eerie". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  6. ^ "ATP curated by Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) - All Tomorrow's Parties". All Tomorrow's Parties. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  7. ^ Doran, John (February 15, 2012). "What It Means To Me To Play Jeff Mangum's ATP". The Quietus. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  8. ^ Murray, Robin (January 24, 2013). "First Names For Primavera Sound 2013". Clash. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  9. ^ Claymore, Gabrielle Tully. "Mount Eerie Sauna Details". Stereogum. Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  10. ^ ""Real Death" by Mount Eerie Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork.com. Archived from the original on 2017-02-19. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  11. ^ Gaca, Anna (2017-02-15). "New Music: Mount Eerie – "Ravens"". Archived from the original on 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  12. ^ Kornhaber, Spencer (2018-03-14). "Phil Elverum Doesn't Want to Be the 'Saddest Musician on Earth'". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  13. ^ Hann, Michael (2017-11-14). "Mount Eerie review – truth defeats beauty on stark songs of death". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  14. ^ Stephens, Murdoch (2018-01-15). "How to listen to Mount Eerie, the saddest musician in the world". The Spinoff. Archived from the original on 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  15. ^ Reese, Nathan (October 25, 2019). "Mount Eerie(after)". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  16. ^ Strauss, Matthew (September 25, 2019). "Mount Eerie and Julie Doiron Announce New Album Lost Wisdom pt. 2, Share Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  17. ^ Bloom, Maddison (October 25, 2019). "Listen to Mount Eerie and Julie Doiron's New Song "Belief pt. 2"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on October 25, 2019. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c Torres, Eric (January 28, 2020). "Mount Eerie Announces April Tour". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on April 6, 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  19. ^ a b Bloom, Madison (April 19, 2020). "Mount Eerie Announces Rescheduled Tour Dates". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on April 28, 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  20. ^ "Rapid Response Fund". Groundswell Fund. Archived from the original on May 1, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  21. ^ Ismael Ruiz, Matthew (April 30, 2020). "Mount Eerie, Downtown Boys, More Featured on New COVID-19 Benefit Album: Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on May 6, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Minsker, Evan (June 18, 2020). "Listen to Mount Eerie Cover Mirah's "Of Pressure"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  23. ^ Litowitz, Drew (2012-05-23). "Album Review: Mount Eerie - Clear Moon". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  24. ^ a b Hill, Eric (March 27, 2017). "An Essential Guide to Mount Eerie, the Microphones and the World of Phil Elverum". Exclaim. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  25. ^ Porter, Christa; Porter, Richard (March 19, 2018). "An Interview With Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie". Live in Everett. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  26. ^ "Interview & chroniques : Mount Eerie". Paperblog (in French). December 12, 2012. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  27. ^ Porter, Christa; Porter, Richard (March 19, 2018). "An Interview With Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie". Live in Everett. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  28. ^ Baker, Brady (2009-09-13). "Interview: Phil Elverum". Spectrum Culture. Retrieved 2020-09-13.
  29. ^ Howe, Brian (May 13, 2008). "Microphones". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  30. ^ Moores, JR (March 20, 2017). "Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  31. ^ Zorgdrager, Bradley (October 20, 2019). "10 Non-Metal Artists That Metalheads Love". Kerrang!. Retrieved 2020-08-13.

External links[edit]