Last month, Mount Eerie‘s Phil Elverum let slip that he was planning to release a new live album recorded during his set at last year’s Le Guess Who? Festival in the Netherlands. Today, he confirmed that news with an official announcement of the new album, entitled (after), which will be released on September 21 on the singer-songwriter’s P.W. Elverum & Sun label.
(after) features performances of Mount Eerie’s 2017 album A Crow Looked At Me, the devastating concept album centered around the death of Elverum’s wife. In a press release, Elverum said this about the endeavor:
“In the year that came after releasing A Crow Looked At Me I toured a lot. The United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan. It wasn’t easy. The shows were emotionally difficult and the atmosphere was so delicate and strange, like reenacting a violent act on stage in front of a paying audience every night. On top of that, I had to tour with my daughter (and a nanny) so my mind was stretched between 2 big difficulties. But fortunately, with the help of so many understanding and helpful agents, bookers, organizers, I was lucky to get to perform these songs in very well suited and beautiful rooms, nice theaters and churches, to kind and supportive listeners. The concerts ended up being something beyond strange, macabre, gawk-shows. I don’t know what they were exactly. Just strangers gathered in beautiful rooms to pay close attention to one person’s difficult details, and to open up together, quietly. They have been the most powerful shows of my life, no question.”
“The best one was at Le Guess Who? festival in Utrecht, Netherlands on November 10th, 2017. Nobody was supposed to be recording these shows but fortunately someone didn’t get that message and this beautiful recording of that show has surfaced. So now I’m plunged back into the apprehensions, now pushed into new territory. What would it mean to release a live album of these songs that maybe shouldn’t have been written in the first place, let alone recorded or performed? Is it OK? Does it bring anything new to the songs to hear them in this way? My hope is: yes. You can hear the breath in the room. You can feel the simultaneous intimacy and immensity. Foregrounded by the hyper-bare instrumentation (minimal acoustic guitar), the words burn brighter even than on the albums, more legible. This is a recording of these ultra-intimate songs living in the real world among people, and of peoples’ wide eyed accepting silence, and clapping.”
Along with the announcement, Mount Eerie has released a live recording of “Soria Moria” from the new live album. The haunting, delicate performance certainly gives that intense feeling of intimacy Elverum had expressed, bring you uncomfortably close to the trauma on display. Listen to “Soria Moria (live)” and read the tracklist for (after) below.
Mount Eerie – (after)
- Real Death
- When I Take Out The Garbage At Night
- Emptiness pt. 2
- Soria Moria
- Now Only
- Crow pt. 2
- Tintin In Tibet