Phil Elverum is Mount Eerie. The 33 year-old multi-instrumentalist has played in other bands, and worked as a producer, but remains best known for this solo project, which began under the name the Microphones in 1997. In 2003, he renamed the project Mount Eerie (and added an “e” to his last name, Elvrum) after returning from a trip to Norway, where he lived alone in a remote cabin for a winter. “Mount Eerie” specifically refers to the mountain on Fidalgo Island, an island an hour and change north of Seattle where you’ll also find Elverum’s lifelong Anacortes, Washington hometown.
To date, his most critically acclaimed (and popular) album is the Microphones’ 2001 epic The Glow Pt. 2. The first official Mount Eerie album — following the Microphones’ final 2003 full-length, also called Mount Eerie — is 2005’s No Flashlight. It was followed by 2007’s Mount Eerie pts. 6 & 7, a 132-page, hardcover book of his photography, packaged with a 10” picture disk. In early 2009, the journals he kept and drawings he scribbled in Norway were released as a 144-page hardcover book called Dawn. It came with 16 color photo cards and a CD of songs he wrote while living there.
Regardless of the moniker, the various collections include interlocking themes, references to earlier works, and are marked by Elverum’s distinctive naturalist self-recorded lo-fi analog sound that mixes a whispered, gentle voice, which can also yell and bellow, with various strains of sound: His work can be delicately spare or booming and ambitiously layered and noisy, often in the same song. Lyrically, he focuses on memory, first-person storytelling, myth, naturalism, the everyday as sacred, and a sense of place (in and out of Washington State), among other related things. In addition to his extravagantly packaged albums, Elverum has released self-published books (which he illustrates or fills with his photographs) via his own label, P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd. – Brandon Stosuy