Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum has announced his first album as the Microphones in 17 years, to be released on August 7th via P.W. Elverum & Sun. Titled Microphones in 2020, the album follows 2003’s Mount Eerie. The album will comprise of a single 44-minute track. Check out the trailer below.
The LP will also be accompanied by an album-length short film, which is set to premiere on Youtube a day before the album’s release.
“I used to call my recordings a different name. A small clump of albums from 1997-2002 were called ‘the Microphones,’ including some popular ones,” Phil Elverum said in a statement. “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.”
The singer-songwriter goes on to describe a 2019 concert as the Microphones, saying that the excitement over the event made him consider reviving the moniker. “I don’t want to go backward ever,” he explained. “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.”
“We all crash through life prodded and diverted by our memories,” Elverum concluded in the press 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.”
In 2016, Elverum lost his wife, musician and artist Geneviève Castrée, to cancer, which led to a series of heartfelt albums under the Mount Eerie moniker: 2017’s A Crow Looked at Me, 2018’s Now Only and 2019’s Lost Wisdom Pt. 2, the latter of which was a collaborative effort with Julie Doiron following his divorce from his second wife, actress Michelle Williams.