November 13, 2008

Mount Eerie: Lost Wisdom

Print More

As someone who doesn’t really care for quiet, slow music, my first inclination was to hate (and then delete) Lost Wisdom, the emotionally-charged latest album by Phil Elverum under the band name Mount Eerie (previously The Microphones). The album is a collaboration between Elverum and Canadian singer-songwriter Julie Doiron, who make a unique pair as they alternate singing vocals on each track set against the soft acoustics of guitarist Fred Squire.
The first and longest track, “Lost Wisdom,” sets the tone of the album: slow, somber and quiet. The brightest — if any of the tracks can be described as such — is “You Swan, Go On.” The album is brief, with a total playtime of less than 25 minutes and ten tracks, but its impact is still strong.
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, this isn’t quite it. Evoking a feeling of loneliness, Elverum writes simple lyrics that reflect the pains of lost love, a theme that resonates clearly with the listener. The end result is an album that’s enchanting but haunting, pretty but lonely.