Mount Eerie (album)

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Mount Eerie
Mount Eerie (Front Cover).png
Studio album by The Microphones
Released January 21, 2003
Recorded November 21, 2001 - June 10, 2002
Studio Dub Narcotic
(Olympia, Washington)
(Trafton Lake, Washington)
Length 40:51
Label K
Producer Phil Elverum
The Microphones chronology
The Glow Pt. 2
Mount Eerie
Alternative cover
CD cover
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Alternative Press 5/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media 8.9/10[4]
Tiny Mix Tapes 5/5[5]

Mount Eerie is the last studio album from the band The Microphones. Microphones frontman Phil Elvrum began working on "Mount Eerie" after taking a long tour of Europe and North America. Released by K Records in 2003, the album is named after the mountain on Fidalgo Island where Elvrum spent much of his childhood.

Fans, critics, and Phil himself often consider the album to be one of Phil's most ambitious releases both musically and conceptually. The music and words found on the album are heavily referential to books, poems, and even other songs by popular artists and Phil's friends' music alike. A booklet entitled 'Headwaters' was released some time after the album's first pressing that went into exhaustive detail describing almost every single lyric's meaning and origin. The booklet could not be published more than once because a mini-disc CD containing a 'mixtape' of every song that Phil was influenced by or referenced on the album was included, which of course went against modern music copyright laws. The CD included songs by Neil Young, Dinosaur Jr., Julie Doiron, Little Wings, among others. Despite the album's heavy usage of references the end product is still widely thought of as an imaginative and explorative album that pushed many boundaries regarding what was normal for so-called indie rock at the time.

Lyrically the album delves into a fantasy-laden story of Phil wandering through a dangerous landscape, being killed by an evil spirit known as "The Big Black Death" (played by Kyle Field of Little Wings), being eaten by a group of vultures (played by Karl Blau), and ascending into the cosmos after death. To fit the massive lyrical story the music ranges from jittering experimental rock to subtle layered folk music to huge natural reverb laden chorus sections set to slow drum rhythms. Though the album is compositionally reminiscent of previous Microphones records, Mount Eerie stands out amongst them as being the most conceptually driven and unrelentingly dark as the album progresses.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "I. The Sun" 17:11
2. "II. Solar System" 3:38
3. "III. Universe" 6:41
4. "IV. Mt. Eerie" 8:58
5. "V. Universe" 4:23
Total length: 40:51


  • Phil Elvrum - vocals, guitars, bass, organ, piano, Swiss alpenhorn, drums, additional percussion
  • Adam Forkner - Cowbell and Trumpet on "The Sun,"
  • Anna Oxygen - Additional vocals on "The Sun," "Mt. Eerie"
  • Mirah - Additional vocals on "Solar System"
  • Khaela Maricich - Additional vocals on "Universe" (part 1), "Mt. Eerie"
  • Calvin Johnson - Additional vocals on "Universe" (part 1)
  • Jenn Kliese - Additional vocals on "Universe" (part 1), "Mt. Eerie," and "Universe" (part 2)
  • Kyle Field - Additional vocals and instruments on "Mt. Eerie"
  • Karl Blau - Additional vocals and instruments on "Mt. Eerie"

"Precipice Carolers"[edit]

These singers form the chorus of the title track.

  • Kyle Field (of Little Wings)
  • Phil Elvrum
  • Khaela Maricich (of The Blow)
  • Phan Nguyen
  • Amber Bell
  • Bethany Hays Parke
  • Shawn Parke
  • Hollis Parke
  • Dennis Driscoll
  • Zach Alarcon
  • Adam Forkner


  1. ^ "Mount Eerie". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-12-18. 
  2. ^ Phares, Heather. "Mount Eerie – The Microphones". AllMusic. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Microphones: Mount Eerie". Alternative Press (175): 70. February 2003. 
  4. ^ Carr, Eric (January 20, 2003). "The Microphones: Mount Eerie". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Microphones – Mount Eerie". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved September 26, 2015.