Mount Eerie – Wind’s Poem (P.W. Elverum & Sun) 2LP
This album could be seen as being part of indie rock’s minor creative renaissance, which has been noted on this here blog and elsewhere. Truth be told though, Phil Elverum – aka The Microphones aka Mount Eerie – has been making startlingly original modifications to the indie rock template for years now. He just hasn’t received anything like the level of recognition he deserves.
So, while the current upsurge of indie creativity may not be responsible for the brilliance of Elverum’s latest album, it must have contributed to the unprecedented level of critical attention the album has received.
Wind’s Poem has certainly garnered a fair amount of critical adulation. What’s been overlooked in the rush to recognize Elverum’s singular vision is that this album is, to an extent, a collaboration with Nick Krgovich of No Kids. This is a shame because Nick is another indie visionary who deserves more respect and attention than he gets.
It’s easy to understand though. Wind’s Poem is a million miles away from No Kids’ breezy, R&B-inflected chamber pop. Influenced by Elverum’s avowed love of black metal, many of the album’s songs are smothered by pitch-black sheets of heavy guitar drone. Topped off with Eleverum and Krgovich’s fey vocals, the results are actually rather more like a self-consciously literate take on Tremolo/Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine than anything genuinely metallic.
But even the album’s quieter moments, like “My Heart is Not at Peace”, have a deeply disquieting undertow of low-end boom. Eleverum and Krgovich are both artists based in the Pacific North-West and Wind’s Poem really does sound like the organic voice of that region’s wooded wilds. This sense is reinforced by the album’s multiple Twin Peaks references – most obviously on “Between Two Mysteries”.
The rich complexity of the album’s words, music and production is carried right through to its packaging – two clear vinyl LPs housed inside a lavish, bronze-embossed gatefold sleeve. This is an album you need to own and you can buy it at Insound.