Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me
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Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me

Image courtesy of the artist

After Phil Elverum's wife Geneviève Castrée died in 2016 he recorded a heartbreaking album called 'A Crow Looked At Me', which is streaming now.

For me it's hardly bearable to listen to Elverum's lyrics. Had quite a similar experience when listening to Sun Kil Moon's 'Benji' for the first time. I'll just leave you here with some words from Elverum. There's nothing more to say.

"August 31st to Dec. 6th, 2016 in the same room where Geneviève died, using mostly her instruments, her guitar, her bass, her pick, her amp, her old family accordion, writing the words on her paper, looking out the same window.

Why share this much? Why open up like this? Why tell you, stranger, about these personal moments, the devastation and the hanging love? Our little family bubble was so sacred for so long. We carefully held it behind a curtain of privacy when we’d go out and do our art and music selves, too special to share, especially in our hyper-shared imbalanced times. Then we had a baby and this barrier felt even more important. (I still don’t want to tell you our daughter’s name.) Then in May 2015 they told us Geneviève had a surprise bad cancer, advanced pancreatic, and the ground opened up. What matters now? we thought. Then on July 9th 2016 she died at home and I belonged to nobody anymore. My internal moments felt like public property. The idea that I could have a self or personal preferences or songs eroded down into an absurd old idea leftover from a more self-indulgent time before I was a hospital-driver, a caregiver, a child-raiser, a griever. I am open now, and these songs poured out quickly in the fall, watching the days grey over and watching the neighbors across the alley tear down and rebuild their house. I make these songs and put them out into the world just to multiply my voice saying that I love her. I want it known.

"Death Is Real" could be the name of this album. These cold mechanics of sickness and loss are real and inescapable, and can bring an alienating, detached sharpness. But it is not the thing I want to remember. A crow did look at me. There is an echo of Geneviève that still rings, a reminder of the love and infinity beneath all of this obliteration. That’s why."

- Phil Elverum
Dec. 11th, 2016
Anacortes

We have labelled A Crow Looked At Me with our editor's choice badge, which means we totally dig the record. Make sure you listen to it at least once. A Crow Looked At Me will be released on 24 March 2017. Stream it courtesy of NPR. Also check out the artist profile of Mount Eerie where you can find more photos, tour dates in your area, links to the official Facebook page and more. Last but not least make sure you scroll down and check out reviews for "A Crow Looked At Me".

And if you like what you hear, get it over at iTunes or Amazon.

A Crow Looked At Me tracklist

1. Real Death
2. Seaweed
3. Ravens
4. Forest Fire
5. Swims
6. My Chasm
7. When I Take Out The Garbage At Night
8. Emptiness pt. 2
9. Toothbrush/Trash
10. Soria Moria
11. Crow

Mount Eerie tour dates:

04/01 - Seattle, WA @ The Depot Arts Center
04/04 - Salem, OR @ WOW Hall
04/06 - Modesto, CA @ Big Sur Grange Hall
04/08 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Observatory
04/08 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Observatory
04/09 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Observatory
04/10 - San Diego, CA @ Irenic
04/11 - Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
04/12 - Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
04/14 - SF Bay Area, CA @ Starline Social Club
04/17 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
04/18 - Tacoma, WA @ Obsidian
04/19 - Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre
05/12 - Phoenix, AZ @ FORM: Arcosanti
05/14 - Phoenix, AZ @ FORM: Arcosanti

Critic Reviews

We currently know 15 reviews for "A Crow Looked At Me" by Mount Eerie. The album is highly acclaimed by critics and a must-listen for every fan of the genre.

"Phil presents his thoughts here with stunning candor, using just a laptop and a microphone to capture his characteristically amorphous guitar lines and thin yet comforting balm of a voice."

100 % Tiny Mix Tapes
"Well, Elverum clearly needed to vent this stuff and to share it with the wider world and you’re unlikely to find a more powerfully eulogistic record released this year. Arguably ever."

100 % Drowned In Sound
"A Crow Looked at Me is a masterpiece in the manner of A Grief Observed and “She Will Find What is Lost”. All of these works create a special communion between creator and observer, artistic experiences that join individual circumstances of loss with whatever the listener/reader/viewer brings to the work."

100 % PopMatters
"They are beautifully and simply arranged, but it is not an entertaining album to listen to in any conventional sense, nor can it be shaken off easily. It is, however, the kind of album that makes all others seem frivolous while you’re hearing it."

92 % Paste Magazine
"Pain is the crux of Elverum’s career, and without resorting to any of his brutally stark instrumentation, he offers his most sobering full-length to date, and likely of all time."

91 % The A.V. Club
"A Crow Looked at Me stands as a remarkable example of the restorative power of music, an intimate display of love, daring both in concept and execution."

91 % Consequence of Sound
"So simple, so tactile, so deceptively real are these songs. Their cumulative effect is that they become wobbly with metaphor, forcing the listener into the kind of magical thinking that transforms everything in the living world into a sign of the dead, only to snap back into a reality that for better and worse means nothing."

90 % Pitchfork
"It may not be one you play often, but it's also one you will never forget. It's omnipresent. Words fail."

90 % The 405
"A Crow Looked at Me is what all art should aspire to be: honest, affecting, and unforgettable."

90 % No Ripcord
"There is sad music, which is to say music that deploys lyrical or musical motifs meant to connote misery. And then there is this album, which mostly exists in a space beyond those concerns. It is an album because a musician made it and it is broken up into songs, but it is also a diary, a balled-up tissue, found art."

90 % The New York Times
"This record possesses immense power to make listeners reflect on their own relationships and mortality."

90 % Exclaim
"For anyone who was ever remotely interested in Mount Eerie or the Microphones, A Crow Looked at Me is a must-listen. But it feels made for a very specific time and place, and the subject matter is tough to stomach and tougher to shake."

83 % Pretty Much Amazing
"A Crow Looked At Me is an unsettling, awkward listen and it might (probably will) make you cry. It’s also a tribute to an amazing 13-year love story (the penultimate song Soria Moria encompasses Elverum’s childhood longing, how he met Castrée and their instant connection) and may turn out to be one of the strongest albums of the year."

80 % NOW Magazine
"As cathartic as the creation of A Crow Looked at Me might have been for this artist, we're obviously meeting him early in the soul-testing climb of this story's arc."

80 % Under The Radar
"It illuminates very real, very constricting emotions that you know you’ll have to either deal with in true form, or kindle within someone you love upon your own passing."

80 % Sputnikmusic

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