In high school I went through a period where I got caught up in Jack Kerouac mania. I made life plans that involved living alone in a cabin surviving on canned chili. I was most certainly not the only kid that was thinking about doing something like this. I was also most certainly not the only kid that did not actually do it ever, mainly because it would have been difficult and I probably would not have been able to defend myself against animals or inclement weather. Later, I discovered Phil Elverum’s Mount Eerie project, at the time called The Microphones. Elverum’s music presents a similarly romantic (but also existentially heavy) view of living with nature. In much of his work, he’s grappling with his place in the world. It’s something that plenty of artists have attempted, but none have nailed as well as Elverum, who has shifted this idea from intimate folk to his own personal take on gnarled black metal. “House Shape” is the first single from Clear Moon, the first of two Mount Eerie albums that will come out this year. It’s an expertly written synthesis of everything he’s done before, incorporating blurred guitar strums into warm drone, until it’s all just one laconically menacing movement toward a greater understanding of how we connect (or don’t connect) with the world.
Stream: Mount Eerie, “House Shape”