Mount Eerie’s A Crow Looked At Me was one of 2017’s best albums, and certainly its most unforgettable. A stunning work of unadorned grief, the album found Phil Elverum coping with the raw, unspeakable emotions of losing his wife, artist and musician Geneviève Castrée, to cancer. Elverum will continue and deepen that album’s themes on new LP Now Only, due out March 16 via his own P.W. Elverum & Sun.
Lead single “Distortion,” released today alongside Elverum’s album announcement, is an 11-minute epic that opens with a dissonant cloud of electric guitar before giving way to tumbling acoustic notes and Elverum’s stark singing voice as he weaves together thoughts and memories into an elegy for his late love. “Is it my job now to hold whatever’s left of you for all time / and to re-enact you for our daughter’s life?” he asks, a man still learning to live in a world distorted by absence—a man who is Now Only. “But in my tears right now / light gleams,” Elverum finishes.
A press release explains that Now Only will comprise “further ruminations on Castrée’s death and their life together, the effects of the sudden success of these intimate songs and the concept of remembrance.” Elverum wrote the album’s six tracks shortly after the release of A Crow Looked At Me and his first live performances of those devastatingly emotional songs. Also grappling with the overwhelmingly positive response to A Crow Looked At Me—”Is it okay for me to be doing well because of this tragic record?” he asked Paste last April. “Is it okay for me to like have a smile on my face ‘cause people are saying nice things to me? What does it all mean?”—and the tough reality of single fatherhood, Elverum used “the role of Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie” to deal with that duality.
Elverum has set a select series of North American tour dates to coincide with Now Only’s spring release, with March shows in Maspeth, N.Y., Los Angeles, Portland and Vancouver. He will also perform a number of previously announced shows in New Zealand and Australia later this month, followed by two performances at San Francisco’s Swedish American Hall on Feb. 22.
Listen to “Distortion” and Mount Eerie’s 2010 Daytrotter Session below, and scroll on to see Now Only’s tracklist and cover art, as well as Elverum’s tour dates. You can preorder his new album here and revisit our April 2017 interview with him here.
Now Only Tracklist:
01. Tintin In Tibet
03. Now Only
05. Two Paintings by Nikolai Astrup
06. Crow pt. 2
Now Only Album Art:
Mount Eerie Tour Dates:
19 – Auckland, New Zealand @ Academy Cinemas
21 – Perth, Australia @ Mojos
23 – Sydney, Australia @ City Recital Hall
24 – Melbourne, Australia @ Melbourne Recital Centre
25 – Castlemaine, Australia @ Theatre Royal
22 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Swedish American Hall (Two Performances)
22 – Maspeth, N.Y. @ Knockdown Center
24 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian
29 – Portland, Ore. @ Revolution Hall
30 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ The Vogue Theatre