Not long ago, Phil Elverum’s primary focus was on crafting the deeply atmospheric, expansive music that marked the records he released under the moniker Mount Eerie. He and his wife Geneviève, a visual artist and musician, lived blissfully intertwined creative and domestic existences, recently welcoming a daughter. Then, Geneviève was diagnosed with cancer. Her treatment and subsequent death in July 2016 changed Elverum profoundly, which naturally changed the music he makes.
Elverum himself was surprised that he was able to write and record the new Mount Eerie album, A Crow Looked At Me. Gone are the atmosphere and noise. Instead, narrative lyrics about the painful details of Elverum’s loss are front and center. Elverum recorded the album using Geneviève’s instruments in her music room, down to using her guitar picks and writing the lyrics on paper he found there. The production is kept sparse, laying all the details of grief painfully bare.