Mount Eerie, AKA Phil Elverum, follows up his stunningly tragic and beautiful 2017 album A Crow Looked at Me with this record. A Crow Looked at Me came just months after Elverum lost his wife Genevieve to cancer, and the album captured the grief and anguish of such a loss in a raw, unfiltered outpour of pain that at at times seemed like something beyond music. While Now Only is in many ways similar in its emotional honesty and devastation, musically it is a bit less stripped back with a greater variety of folky instruments, sounds, and styles accompanying Elverum’s soft, hypnotic singing. Elverum returns with the same masterful storytelling that has you wrapped on every word, but he is also able to find a certain dark, absurdist humor in a few moments (namely the title track), and perhaps not peace, but something approaching acceptance. Now Only operates very much as a natural extension of and reflection on Crow. It maintains a similar amount of emotional impact while being more far more listenable on certain tracks. Still, many might find it a bit too dark for radio, so be warned. This album will absolutely ruin your day, in the best way possible.
Label: Phil Elverum & Sun
Start w/ 3, 1, 6
RIYL: The Microphones, Sufjan Stevens, Sun Kil Moon, Giles Corey