Mount Eerie Grapples With Turning Grief Into Art On ‘Real Death’

Contributing Writer

P. W. Elverum & Sun

Phil Elverum recently lost his wife to pancreatic cancer, and the artist better known as Mount Eerie — the moniker under which he’s released albums of lo-fi tunes since the early ’00s — doesn’t want to create art out of it. Unfortunately, it seems like the man who has expressed himself through scratchy, DIY tracks for over 20 years doesn’t know any other way to cope.

Though he admits in the heartbreaking new song “Real Death” that making music feels “dumb” after such a monumental loss, he still felt the need to document the lingering and devastating pain that comes from the passing of a partner. The descriptions of wandering through a suddenly empty house and receiving packages that still have her name on them is some of the raw-nerviest this side of “Woke Up New.” And this is just a taste of Elverum’s just announced album A Crow Looked At Me, which the singer-songwriter promises will be a painfully honest look into the life he’s living as he tries to figure out what to do now.

“Our little family bubble was so sacred for so long, he said in a press release about the new album. “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.”

Elverum said that he was driven by the desire to make a monument to his late wife:”I make these songs and put them out into the world just to multiply my voice saying that I love her,” he said. “I want it known.”

A Crow Looked At Me is out March 24 Phil’s own label P.W. Elverum & Sun. Take a look at the tracklist below.

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”

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