Field Recordings

Mount Eerie Plays 'An Absurd Concert To Nobody'

"We just played an absurd concert to nobody," Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum says, as he faces a sea of empty red seats at the Folger Shakespeare Library's gorgeous Elizabethan-style theatre in Washington, D.C., just across the way from the Supreme Court. Serendipitously, a group of schoolchildren had toured the oak halls of the library just minutes before, and would take cover in each other's coats from the gray rain outside. We needed only to tape their gleeful yelps to match the recorded version of "Ocean Roar," heard on the album of the same name — just one of two stirring collections Mount Eerie released in 2012.

Both Clear Moon and Ocean Roar are massive and atmospheric records — not at all strange bedfellows in Elverum's sonic vocabulary — but they both communicate his life-affirming, death-obsessed mysticism like never before. "Ocean Roar" is a smart tangle of words; its alternate stories oddly complement and complicate each other, while telling of lost thoughts and wandering souls. On record, the song chimes with guitars and drums that subdivide the dreaminess, but at the theatre, it's just Elverum, a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar and touring band members Allyson Foster and Paul Benson singing soft harmonies at his side.

Credits

Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Lars Gotrich; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videography & Editing: Mito Habe-Evans, Christopher Parks; Special Thanks to the Folger Shakespeare Library; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

A young man walks through a sunny wood in a scene from LVL UP's new video for "The Closing Door." Courtesy of the artist. hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist.

All Songs TV

Take An Existential Journey With LVL UP

The New York band's new video for "The Closing Door" tells a sunny coming-of-age story.

Blind Pilot performs live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Brian Feinzimer/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Brian Feinzimer/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Blind Pilot, 'Packed Powder' (Live)

KCRW

The Portland, Ore., folk-rock band performs an anthem from And Then Like Lions live for KCRW.

Jess Abbott flirts with evil, personified by Sadie Dupuis, in a still from Tancred's "Pens" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Songs We Love

Tancred, 'Pens'

Jess Abbott flirts with evil, personified by Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis, in a dark power-pop gem.

Ages and Ages perform live in The Old Church in Portland, Ore. Jarratt Taylor/opbmusic hide caption

toggle caption Jarratt Taylor/opbmusic

Favorite Sessions

Ages And Ages, 'Something To Ruin' (Live)

opbmusic.org

Known for handclaps and group harmonies, the band takes on a darker tone in "Something To Ruin."

Back To Top