A Crow Looked At Me Album Review
P.W. Elverum & Sun
Released March 24, 2017
Genre: Singer Songwriter
Phil Elverum’s long running musical project has released a new album in response to the untimely and tragic death of his wife. Although this is indubitably a difficult album to sit through because of the subject matter and the extremely graphic descriptions of grief, A Crow Looked At Me is an amazing experience.
Mount Eerie has delved into many different sonic territories to provide a soundtrack for different themes, but this new album is almost completely stripped down to guitar and a few other acoustic instruments. These instruments, which all belonged to Phil’s deceased wife, Geneviève, help make the album feel extremely intimate to the point where I felt like I was invading a recording session. The extremely in-depth analysis that Phil gives to describe his grief also feels invasive. The way he attributes his natural surroundings (living in the Pacific Northwest allows him to be around a lot of nature) to memories of Geneviève is touching and haunting as well. It is clear that everything reminds him of her absence. His voice is also quivering at every note, even though he sings comfortably in his range throughout the whole project. Some songs, like the very last track “Crow,” end abruptly, creating a jarring effect on the listener. It actually feels like a last breath being cut short every time Phil does it.
I haven’t even gone into how he references his one-year-old child and how he can’t imagine how she’ll live without her mother. In short, this is an extremely emotionally taxing album, but it feels so real (because it is) and it hits home no matter who you are or who you’ve lost. Please listen.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
FAV TRACKS: Real Death, My Chasm, Crow
LEAST FAV TRACK: N/A