It’s been a little over a year since our Mount Eerie episode, but more importantly, it’s been a little over a year since the release of A Crow Looked at Me, Phil Elverum’s bleak, uncomfortably direct meditation on the death of his wife, Geneviève Castrée. And in a way the period of time since that work is the subject of today’s episode, as Mount Eerie’s latest album, Now Only, reckons with the grieving process, memory, what time does to death, and life after Crow.
So as you can imagine, this was a pretty intense episode to make. But the thing is, Now Only isn’t intimidating in the way that A Crow Looked at Me was. In fact, it’s almost welcoming, sharing memories, bits of gallows humor, and legitimately catchy (if very bleak) “choruses” among its darkest moments. It’s a warmer, more musical album, where the emotional moments hit hard not because of their stark alienation, but because you can feel them too. So this isn’t another “O Superman” B-Side—instead, it’s a reflection on generosity, shared emotional response, and the incredible talent at the heart of Mount Eerie.
Now Only is a beautiful album that you shouldn’t be afraid of, and I hope this episode is able to convey some of that. If nothing else, it was at least one last shining beacon of good music before the month gets infinitely worse.
Tintin in Tibet
Two Paintings by Nikolai Astrup