Mount Eerie – Wind’s Poem

January 01, 1970

(P.W. Elverum & Sun)

 

www.pwelverumandsun.com

 

The concept of Wind’s Poem is utter hippy bullshit if you haven’t perceived the
real Phil Elverum. Apparently our Phil carried this album in the mental womb
for two years, listening to the wind in the trees behind his Washington house,
attempting to translate its moans and whistles. Oh, puke, hand me my iPhone,
etc.

 

But if, as I say, you’re familiar with this
most serious man, the idea of his channelling nature’s spirit becomes less
absurd: for he is, by all accounts, made of wet wood, and gravel, and owl-spit,
and moss. Through his string of releases as Mount Eerie and his previous
incarnation, The Microphones, Elverum has always been obsessed with such
enduring physical stuff as the moon and the elements; yet instead of just
constructing Romantic odes to those subjects, he spreads them on a palette,
using them to darken, colour or pour gravity on his otherwise very human
lyrics.

 

This album very much fits the canon Elverum
has created, with said epic/microcosmic poetry and his signature melancholy
chord progressions, but that consistency seems almost to be the centrepiece of
this one; that is, more than ever, one notices how well it all fits together,
how the singer never seems to alter his voice whether singing over a wall of
black-metal distortion or pale, mournful organ. These huge disparities in
sound, too, appear magicked away; somehow “Wind Speaks” moves from glimmering
synth to enormous, indulgent bass buzz while that same calm power persists.
It’s probably from the post-rock book of spells more than anything, the ability
to leap up and down in amplitude and still attain a so-called “unity of effect”
that could knock out Edgar Allen Poe.

 

The other marked difference is the
inclusion of Nick Krgovich, core member of P:ano and No Kids, adding harmonies,
his idiosyncratic wooden percussion on tracks like “Between Two Mysteries”, and
generally making some clearings of light in Mount Eerie’s mist. Where previous
album Lost Wisdom felt ever more
intimate/lonely with Julie Doiron, Krgovich lends Wind’s Poem a welcome bigness and eclecticism. So as the hole
inside Elverum gets deeper, the wholeness of his music gets… wholer. (And with gongs!)

 

These last two releases would therefore be
a fine introduction for any new listener, with “Lost Wisdom” part 1 on the
former and the great growling part 2 on the latter marrying the two
inextricably. But do keep searching back in his catalogue, forth again and all
over this dark forest, because you’re sure to find something, whether golden or
ghostly, to write home about.

 

Standout
Tracks:
The Hidden Stone, Between Two Mysteries MERYL
TRUSSLER

 

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