Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Backstreet Recommends: Lost Wisdom

Back in 1999 when Phil Elvrum was still Phil Elevrum and Mt. Eerie was still called The Microphones there was no mistaking his big love for Eric's TripDon't Wake Me Up, the first Microphones album, had many overt Trip references musically and even in the b&w drawing + photocollage sleeve art.  As Mt. Eerie Elvrum has continuously refined his odd elliptical songwriting and developed a style that maintains a long-standing home-made sound but also embraces starker moods of haunted folk and (very distant) hints of black metal.

On 2008's Lost Wisdom the Microphones/Eric's Trip circle neatly closes as Mt. Eerie is joined by Julie Doiron (and Fred Squire).  What initially sounds like a very minimalist Julie Doiron album eventually reveals itself to be something far more peculiar and idiosyncratic.  Elvrum's lyrics are little word/sound games and often drift off into surreal terrain: "thunder lightning tidal wave / the wind blew down the door / lost wisdom / the river goes through the room" (fr the title track).  It's an album that grows with repeated listening.

The vinyl version of Lost Wisdom is available at Backstreet in Fredericton for $24.98 + hst.  CD version is available on special order.


meg. said...

Lost Wisdom, the compact disc, is on frequent rotation in my classroom. Students are intrigued as they enter the room. Phil always manages to hush a crowd. I've seen him perform live at least 4 times, and I have "The Microphones recorded live in Japan" on vinyl...
I love live music.
Seen anyone good recently? When are you coming to Montreal?!
I'm still here,


Ben said...

Great recommendation. I feel like the "black metal" influence shows a lot more on Wind's Poem, the new Mount Eerie record.

Kerstin said...

Yes, a wonderful album. Apart from the burgers and beer, my only purchase at sappy last summer.

Eric, this is a great place to let me know about staircase shows (, also.