Anchored By Sadness Yet Filled With Hope
In spring of 2015, Phil Elverum’s wife Genevieve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, one of the most brutal forms of the disease that ends up killing 80% of those afflicted within one year. About a year-and-a-half before the tragic diagnosis, she had given birth to the couple’s first child — a baby girl. Come summertime, the year following her diagnosis, Genevieve had lost her ongoing battle with cancer, leaving behind her child and husband. A Crow Looked At Me is Elverum’s ninth album as Mount Eerie and it mentions the loss of his wife and the growth of the daughter she never wanted to leave behind in just about every melancholy track.
Phil Elverum’s brand new album, A Crow Looked At Me, is a forty-minute long, extremely emotional reflection on his life after losing his wife and the mother of his child to cancer. Although every song haunts ears with heartache and loss, hope, motivation and the need to keep on living shine through more and more with each minute. The mournful tone of Elverum’s voice and lyrics paired with the barely-there, slow guitar makes for a clear and quiet album, almost quiet enough for one to hear a pin dropping between the soft fuzz and low voice of every tune on A Crow.
Despite what seems like pure sadness in every song on this record, the only sad aspect of each track are the details of Elverum’s story. Even though A Crow Looked At Me came about from the subject of death, this album is saturated with life, realization and appreciation for the little things. Elverum has endured one of life’s worst tragedies and instead of letting that take a toll on him, he looked for and found that light at the end of the tunnel. The loss didn’t stop the artist from moving forward and seeing the world; it actually seems to have opened his eyes permanently ,allowing him to appreciate the beauty of life and, most of all, the fact that it won’t be around forever.