Phil Elverum has spent the better part of the last two decades releasing music as Mount Eerie, including some absolutely monumental albums, but it’s arguable that his most beloved work remains that which he did under his former moniker The Microphones. It’s therefore extremely exciting that he has announced a return to that project for a new album called The Microphones in 2020, which will be coming out on August 7. The album will be a single 44-minute track.
You can watch the 90-second preview of The Microphones in 2020 below, and beneath that read the full statement from Elverum about his decision to turn back time.
Elverum’s statement about his return to The Microphones reads:
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. 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.
In the summer of 2019 I played a little local concert under the old name for no big reason. The little flurry of weird attention around this announcement got me thinking about what it even means to step back into an old mode. Self commemoration would be embarrassing. I don’t want to go backwards ever. There is nothing to reunite. So I nudged into the future with these ideas and came up with this large song. It took almost a year to write and record, working constantly at home, digging through the archives, playing the same two chords forever on the same $5 first guitar. 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. There is a way through to disentanglement. Burn your old notebooks and jump through the smoke. Use the ashes to make a new thing.