Mount Eerie - Crow - 2:21
Julien Baker - Distant Solar Systems - 4:59
A Crow Looked at Me is the eighth studio album by Mount Eerie, the solo project of American musician Phil Elverum. The album is a concept album about the death of Elverum's wife, the cartoonist and musician Geneviève Castrée.
The album was released on March 24, 2017.
Phil Elverum lost his wife—an artist and the mother of his child—to cancer. His new album is a meditation on her memory, but also on what it means to keep living.
Over the past few years, there have been a handful of albums similar to Crow, or at least with a similarly autobiographical premise: Sun Kil Moon’s Benji, Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree, stark, diaristic albums haunted by literal death, grief on record.
Julien Baker - Funeral Pyre Single, Distant Solar Systems Single - Matador
Julien Rose Baker is an American singer songwriter, musician and guitarist from Memphis, Tennessee.
Julien Baker’s debut LP, Sprained Ankle, was a sparse collection of songs diagramming the human body as a fragile vessel for an even more delicate spirit. It’s visceral imagery was almost violent in its depiction of decay—creaking ribs, protruding spines, grinding teeth, the walls of her skull bending like a labyrinth.
Her first release on Matador, “Funeral Pyre,” continues down this path, finding the quiet apathy of a destructive relationship corrosive. But on the other side of her new 7” single, “Distant Solar Systems,” she finds a brand new conduit for her sad songs about broken people, something less terrestrial, and more cosmic: the deaths of stars themselves.
It seems fitting that Baker would transition from human bodies to celestial ones. “Distant Solar Systems” looks upward at a pitch-black ocean trying to quantify emotions in the context of the cosmos. It’s a song that charts the brevity of human existence along the vastness of space.