Mount Eerie No Flashlight Lyrics, the eleven-minute The Glow).
The sprawling 20-song The Glow Pt 2 (K, 2001), dedicated to fire, is virtually a solo album by Elverum, and, following the intuition of It Was Hot We Stayed in the Water, is an exercise in sophisticated orchestration a` la Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control, but fatally tinged with calm Syd Barrett-ian madness. The simplest tunes only provide faint glimpses into his insanely lucid musical mind: I Want the Wind to Blow for voice, guitar and hand percussion; Headless Horseman for voice and guitar; The Mansion for voice, guitar and ghosts; etc.
When he expands the instrumental palette, Elverum crafts some of the most original lieder of his generation: The Glow Pt. 2 with magniloquent piano, droning organ and John Fahey-ian finger-picking; The Moon, casually whispered over rapid-fire drums, droning organ and horn fanfare; Map, wrapped in distorted sounds, distracted by a martial piano fugue, and hijacked by a melancholy instrumental coda.
Too many fragments (some of which are only brief surges of noise) hamper, as usual, his quest for the ultimate heart-wrenching and mind-bending songs, although all those half-baked ideas compose a lyrical cubist patchwork.
The Microphones' fourth album Mount Eerie (K, 2003) is another concept containing five lengthy tracks, audio fantasies that absorb and metabolize apparently disconnected sounds to produce perfectly rational organisms. The 17-minute The Sun lays down a carpet of cryptic subliminal drones and glitches that slowly picks up form. Within minutes the piece has transformed into a maelstrom of percussive sounds. After ten minutes Elverum intones an a-cappella hymn that slowly involves more and more instruments until it explodes again as a chaotic bacchanal. Percussive sounds also set the stage for Universe before a gargantuan bass line emerges to introduce the vocals. The tune itself is little more than a clownesque folk elegy but totally deranged. Its ghostly ending (a braid of sustained 'om's that segues into the closing track) lends the album a metaphysical meaning that summarizes the progression from air to water to fire to the universe. The nine-minute Mt Eerie is a song in the process of being assembled, a song that continuously changes identity, from singalong to doo-wop, until it disappears into a vortex of hisses. The music seems to flow in a higher dimension, but then collapses continuously as if physics ceased to exist and then resumed again in an endless loop of disjointed transcendence.
Song Islands (K, 2002) collects the singles.
Live In Japan (K, 2004) contains all new songs in a live and solo (no orchestration) setting. The mini-album Seven New Songs (2004) contains the lengthy November 22nd 2003.
Then Mount Eerie became a full-fledge (home-based) project, but, alas, one of those hyper-prolific projects of very low-quality music: No Flashlight (2005), Singers (2005), collecting material from 2000 and 2003, Eleven Old Songs (2006), recorded between 2002 and 2003, the EP Pts 6 and 7 (2007) and the mini-album Black Wooden Ceiling Opening (2008), that includes revisions of old songs.
Mount Eerie No Flashlight
D+, formed with guitarist Brett Lunsford of Beat Happening and vocalist Karl Blau, released D+ and Dandelion Seeds (1998).