Mount Eerie, aka Phil Elverum, has shared "Real Death", the first single from new album A Crow Looked At Me.
Elverum's wife, Geneviève Castrée, died last summer after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. She'd given birth to their first child a year earlier.
"Real Death" (listen here if player is broken above) is a breathtaking first taste of an album created in the wake of Castrée's passing. It's frank, forthright, and endlessly intimate.
The album was recorded in the room that Castrée died using her equipment and instruments - she was a musician and artist, releasing music as Ô PAON and Woelv, and collaborating with many musicians, including Karl Blau.
Elverum has shared a statement about the record:
"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.) 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."
A Crow Looked At Me follows 2015's double album Sauna.