Music

Phil Elverum Teases First Microphones Album in 17 Years

Phil Elverum is set to drop his first album as the Microphones since 2003, Microphones in 2020, out August 7th on P.W. Elverum & Sun.

The new album comprises one 44-minute song and will also include an album-length short film, out August 6. On Tuesday, June 16th, Elverum released a short teaser for the new project, which features droning music and a collection of snapshots. Elverum’s last album as the Microphones was 2003’s Mount Eerie, a moniker he adopted for his next musical project starting with 2005’s “No Flashlight”: Songs of the Fulfilled Night.

“I used to call my recordings a different name. A small clump of albums from 1997 to 2002 were called ‘the Microphones,’ including some popular ones,” Elverum said in a release. “But the essence of this project has never really changed: me exploring autobiographically in sound and words with occasional loose participation from friends. The name it has been called has never mattered much to me.”

He goes on to describe how he played a 2019 concert as the Microphones and the excitement over the event made him consider stepping into the old moniker again.

“I don’t want to go backward ever,” he said. “So I nudged into the future with these ideas and came up with this large song. … In it I have tried to get at the heart of what defined that time in my life, my late teens and early twenties, but even more importantly, I tried to break the spell of nostalgia and make something perennial and enduring. All past selves existing at once in this inferno present moment. The song doesn’t seem to end. That’s the point.”

Elverum has suffered his share of losses over the last few years. His wife, musician and artist Geneviève Castrée, died of cancer in 2016, inspiring a collection of heartrendingly gorgeous Mount Eerie records: 2017’s A Crow Looked at Me, 2018’s Now Only and 2019’s Lost Wisdom Pt. 2. That last album came out following Elverum’s divorce from his second wife, actress Michelle Williams.

“We all crash through life prodded and diverted by our memories,” Elverum concluded in the release. “There is a way through to disentanglement. Burn your old notebooks and jump through the smoke. Use the ashes to make a new thing.”

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