Mount Eerie’s A Crow Looked At Me was bound to be a raw and vulnerable album. What else could Phil Elverum make in the wake of his wife’s death, facing down raising his infant daughter alone? But even knowing that, this album is an emotional punch to the stomach, bound to make your abdomen ache and your eyes well up.
We’d already heard the album opener “Real Death” — a crushing example of folk vérité that lands its blows by just recalling small events that actually happened in the wake of his wife Geneviève Castrée passing– and the album does not let up. The second track “Seaweed” features plain-spoken emotional haymakers like “Our daughter is one-and-a-half, you have been dead 11 days” and “I came here alone with our baby and the dust of your bones.”
Phil Elverum is in a very dark, sad and confusing place and he doesn’t sugarcoat it at all on Crow. There’s no attempt at larger meaning on the album, it’s just an unflinching look at living with an indescribable void. As he sings on the album opener, “Someone’s there and then they’re not. It’s not for singing about, it’s not for making into art.”
Still, Elverum had to do something. So, we get Crow. Brace yourself and stream it up top via NPR’s First Listen.
A Crow Looked At Me is out on March 24 via Elverum’s label.