Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best Albums of 2008: #4

4. Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire
Lost Wisdom
P.W. Elverum & Sun - 10/07/08

I'm someone who has always prescribed to the idea that beauty in music really comes from its sparseness. More specifically, I feel beauty in music comes from those empty moments where feelings and tone are able to build from the nothingness and blossom with the next lonely chord played or crackling lyric sung. Lost Wisdom does this to perfection. At only about 24 minutes, this album is an exercise in restraint. Every note and every syllable that is uttered is absolutely necessary and the result is gorgeous and haunting gothic-folk. The MVP of this album has to be Julie Doiron, who builds beautifully quiet harmonies alongside Mount Eerie's creative force Phil Elverum on every track of the album. Each of the 10 songs on this record articulate honest statements on love, heartbreak, death and longing in a way that is completely earnest, yet not in any way off putting. The simple beauty of this album is best communicated in the very short, "You Swan, Go On," which I have already talked about at length here. Other highlights include: "Voice In Headphones," "What?," "With My Hands Out," and the absolutely stunning highlight and album opener "Lost Wisdom." Lost Wisdom is the hands down most affecting folk album of the year. It should not be ignored.

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