PW Elverum and Son
After the almost unbearably fragile, creaky floorboard duets with Julie Doiron on last year’s spontaneous Lost Wisdom, the restless, shape-shifting Phil Elverum has already left that earthy sound far behind him on Wind’s Poem. The savvy follower of the nastier end of popular culture would have already seen the clues in Wind’s Poem‘s stark, gray winterscape, a sepia, empty sky with snow-capped, angular evergreen trees holding a silent vigil. Yes, all signs point to Elverum taking inspiration from weirdo, solitary masters of black metal melancholy like later period Burzum, Lurker of Chalice, Sunn O))), and naturally, the mighty Xasthur. And it doesn’t end there — it’s even better — the songs on Wind’s Poem switch back and forth between a roaring, regal particle cloud of noise, and hushed, shimmering vocal/organ hymns perfect for a sad, stoned torpor with hints and flickers of Sonic Boom’s first solo album and Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack work for Twin Peaks and the shoegazer-indebted strain of American black metal surface throughout. Usually Elverum is not so heart-on-sleeve with his influences, but Wind’s Poem is all the stronger for it. With Elverum acting as a deft and heartfelt interpreter of the heart’s loneliest places and his own sonic vocabularies, Wind’s Poem is a series of moving meditations on nature’s mystery, love’s cruelties, and the necessity of solitude and ache. And, let’s face it, “Through the Trees” is as close to bliss-drone perfection as you’re going to hear this year.
PW Elverum and Son: www.pwelverumandsun.com