By Isaac Kozell
Phil Elverum, aka Mount Eerie, takes his time crafting records he is proud of, focusing on physicality rather than catering to the needs of the digitally thirsty consumer. Mount Eerie’s latest release, a double LP on vinyl called Sauna, is a shining example.
The record, Elverum’s seventh under the Mount Eerie moniker by my count, plays like a soundtrack to an acid trip in a barren Nordic landscape. The 10-minute long opening title track showcases deep, meditative textures that permeate the album whereas guitar-heavy tracks like “Boat” and “Planets” bring the energy up at just the right moments.
Echoes of Pink Floyd and My Bloody Valentine layer the background, while Elverum’s effortless vocals keep the album anchored to the bedroom floor, where lyrics read like excerpts from a novel in progress.
Some of the words feel stilted and contrived: “A bright thing caught my eye / It was a pumpkin,” for example, from the song “Pumpkin.” But to be fair, Elverum at least seems self-aware about his pretensions, tweeing “It seems like the music reviewers didn’t read the same obscure Asian hermit poetry as me maybe.” – (7/10)
Issac’s review also appeared in Northern California culture magazine Savage Henry.