Losing someone you love is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things anyone can face, and losing someone forever brings a feeling that you can never really shake. Phil Elverum lost his wife to cancer, which led to the heartbreaking tales of last year's A Crow Looked At Me. He is still coping with the loss, and is still channeling it into his music. Mount Eerie continues mourning in Now Only, reflecting on the past to find answers for the future.
In this chapter of Elverum's mourning, he takes a deep, long look into his past. His ekphrastic approach to Now Only sees Elverum clawing at the past in hopes of finding some sort of justification or reason for his pain. The most desperate look comes in 'Distortion,' and eleven minute recollection of events throughout his life that changed him for better or for worse. One story sees him being worried about possibly getting a girl pregnant, while another tells of him touring the world as a sort of nomad before returning home because he missed his wife, Geneviéve. 'Earth' tells a story that's harder to swallow: Elverum finding his wife's bones. He tries to not glorify the situation, but still struggles to cope with it, singing "You don't even have a dead body anymore, it was taken away" to attempt to normalize it for himself.
Now Only is very much a continuation of A Crow Looked At Me, in all the tragic ways. It almost feels like a series, as if this is the next step in Elverum's mourning. Opening track 'Tintin In Tibet' seems to pick up right were A Crow Looked At Me left off, telling a story of the two that Elverum holds dear to his heart. From there, it's all about the events of the past that changed him. Closing track 'Crow, Pt. 2' sees the same premonitions haunt Elverum even as he tries to come to terms with them. His tortured mind is clearly still struggling to cope in Now Only, but is attempting to piece itself together in tragic ways.
Mount Eerie continues mourning in Now Only, taking another step towards mentally and emotionally healing in the face of his wife's death. There are really few words to describe that feeling, so Phil Elverum is documenting each step he takes through his music, and while moving along the journey with him is painful, it is powerful to know that his healing provides answers to us, too.
Favorite Tracks: Distortion, Tintin In Tibet
Least Favorite Track: Now Only
Rating: 78 / 100
Stream or buy Now Only on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: