Mount Eerie
Lost Wisdom


4.0
excellent

Review

by plane STAFF
October 20th, 2008 | 50 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lost Wisdom is one of my favorite songwriters finding himself exactly where I need him to be: filling the room, the voice in headphones.

God, it’s 3 a.m. and I can’t sleep. My vision is blurry, my arms heavy, but I’m stuck, restlessly thinking, staring at my ceiling. I put on something soft, quiet, to ease the tension a little. It’s counter-productive (sleep in silence) but the voice that fills the room is an immediate comfort. He is there, lonely and morose, calmer, wiser, a soul searching. I can feel his words trip over my cotton sheets, the floor rumbling with the quick, tender, slightly sloppy melodies.

But she’s a presence: beautiful, melancholic, strong but weary, with a frustratingly stubborn optimism that blurs the intent behind her words. “Fog obliterates the morning and I don’t know where I am / the heart is pounding and you are always on my mind,” they sing together and you can hear the space growing. “You thought you knew me / you thought our house was home,” she sings and he echoes; “I saw your picture out of nowhere / and forgot what I was doing,” he sighs and she mimics. And they reach some sort of pivotal moment when the weight behind the song shifts uncomfortably on his metaphor: “I stood in the house and tried to hold the breeze.”

I’m reminded of the first time I saw Phil Elvrum take the stage as Mount Eerie. With fog machines in tow and only his guitar by his side, a barefooted Elvrum sat center stage with a measly cloud of smoke hovering around him, laughing at his own jokes and noodling out the drone-inspired tracks that made up Black Wooden Ceiling Opening. That Phil Elvrum feels very different from this Phil Elvrum. If The Glow Pt. 2, the dark and surreal coming-of-age story that serves as the Microphones’ classic, was a “Before” portrait of naïve first loves then Lost Wisdom serves as the “After,” its twenty minutes a sparse and despairing mountainside soundtrack to the inevitable pains of growing older and apart.

Julie Doiron (of Eric’s Trip, whose debut I’ve recently become infatuated with) is who really elevates Lost Wisdom above the rest of Elvrum’s post-Microphones discography: she creates another palpable character in this new chapter of a never-ending story, and with the help of Fred Squire on guitar, Lost Wisdom becomes a near masterpiece.

There are moments on the album that could match the year’s big indie heavyweight, Bon Iver, like the chorus that pulls the dense “Voice in Headphones” forward or the clever misdirection of the more upbeat “You Swan, Go On.” But each track on Lost Wisdom feels full-bodied and important, none more so than “O My Heart” that echoes the drifting electric chords that pervaded The Glow Pt. 2. “What I find will be found easily / and only when I’m not looking for it,” they state forcefully in the song’s intro, strumming for emphasis on the words that dangle at the end. Doiron is a highlight continually on Lost Wisdom, here in “O My Heart” and again in “Flaming Home,” a song that feels structured on her lovely range.

Squire helps to mount these stories and it’s this that makes Lost Wisdom last. The moody reverb that washes “Who?” mirrors the pair’s frustrating fall out (“What do I want with my life now you’re gone? / I want your ghosts gone”) and the arpeggios that drip out of “If We Knew…” give Doiron’s doe-eyed performance a dreamy quality. When “Grave Robbers” brings Lost Wisdom to its moment of acceptance, one these two have earned, it’s the simple nature of the song that rings truest.

So here, yes, 3 a.m., listening to an album that almost didn’t happen and took three days to complete, and I can’t fall asleep. But I listen to Lost Wisdom and I feel better because, with a little help and push in the right direction by two game musicians, this is one of my favorite songwriters finding himself exactly where I need him to be: filling the room, the voice in headphones.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2008


6100 Comments


too late on this one 8(

robin
Emeritus
October 20th 2008


4261 Comments


hm. i only ever had the glow from this guy, which im probably going to re-evaluate seeing as it didn't strike me the first time i heard it, but i usually love lo-fi stuff like it. nice review

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 20th 2008


3742 Comments


of Eric’s Trip, whose debut I’ve recently become infatuated with


well yeah

album is good

Michigan
October 20th 2008


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a soul searching.
supposed to be like this?

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2008


6100 Comments


yes

Michigan
October 21st 2008


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is awesome

iamrockzorz
October 22nd 2008


1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lova Tara is amazzzzing.

charlesfishtitz
October 23rd 2008


784 Comments


newborn babies come to life on my face.. they say ta-da!

great album

rasputin
October 25th 2008


14555 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is so good.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 26th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't know why I keep listening to this. I mean some of it can be so flat at times, but then it's like, no it's not shut up.

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2008


6100 Comments


this is awesome

rasputin
October 31st 2008


14555 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Finally ordered this, got The Glow pt. 2 together with it as well. Probably going to take like a month to get here though

jrowa001
December 26th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

another album i just finally listened to. this is pretty good too. also could be a 4 after a few more listens

slan
January 23rd 2009


50 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love the flow of this album.

Mendigo
January 23rd 2009


2299 Comments


I like Black Wooden Ceiling Opening more tbh.
but this one's good as well

BallsToTheWall
June 12th 2009


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm liking the dual vocals especially on Who?

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2009


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha found this today in my local record store for $6. Win.

Ponton
Emeritus
June 26th 2010


5819 Comments


Probably my fav post-glow 2 release from elverum, album is perfect for insomnia

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

kount
October 7th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no u dont

kount
October 7th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is my business



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