AOTY 2021
Mount Eerie - Now Only
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2018 Ratings: #41 / 851
User Score
Based on 557 ratings
2018 Ratings: #90
Liked by 9 people
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Loud and Quiet
Elverum has prolonged his wife’s echo with a universal collection of songs, powerful as any literature on the human experience.
Tiny Mix Tapes

The first time I listened to Now Only, it was raining and I cried for 10 minutes; after it ended, like a body after an exorcism, I felt lighter, and when I looked out of my window, into a black night, there were no crows or rainbows or signs, but inside of my room, inside of my body light gleamed.

A.V. Club

Now Only is just as devastatingly direct, but there are glimmers of catharsis—of light gleaming in tears, as Elverum puts it. Where Crow occupied a numb, purgatorial present tense, the new record leaps around like a wandering mind, to vivid anecdotes from the singer-songwriter’s past.


There are only six tracks here, but they cover massive lyrical ground ... Combined with spare arrangements that highlight hypnotic acoustic strums, moody keys and even a some fuzz-drenched rock-outs, the result is an emotionally nuanced meditation on death that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.


If A Crow was an implosion, a recitation of the impact of Castrée’s death on Elverum’s soul, Now Only curls outward, picking up the pieces of the wreckage and, as he sings, “holding all your things, resisting the inevitable.”

Drowned in Sound

Like its predecessor, Now Only lays profoundly bare Elverum’s grief. But although it is often an excruciating listen, it also finds room to step, however briefly, outside of the agony that marked its predecessor, if just for long enough to suggest that Elverum is, somehow, beginning to find some relief in the unbearable.


There's no great catharsis or climax here, naturally, but the songs are longer and more deliberately composed than A Crow Looked at Me.

Under The Radar
It's part two of a painfully vivid window into the grieving process, and like part one, it's brilliant.

Now Only isn’t as easily categorized as its predecessor. These songs arrive with such urgency, such purpose, that it feels all-encompassing: part-memoir, part magnum opus.

The 405

... this album is still going to be about the loss of his love, but one that shows a bit of distance, a new perspective, and the healing power of music, which is explored throughout the album’s six tracks.

Pretty Much Amazing

Many will see it as Crow Pt. 2, which is fair, and there’s no telling when or if Elverum will go back to spinning fantasies about the vastness of the universe. It’d be a stretch to say he’s doing better, but at least he’s figuring things out, and that’s a good sign.


While Elverum maintains A Crow Looked at Me's stripped-down, vérité style of singing and playing, his artistry is more apparent on Now Only.


A Crow Looked At Me sequentially chronicled the passage of time, from the raw immediacy of Castrée’s death happening to the record’s conclusion months later. But Elverum clearly still has more he wants to say and on Now Only, he’s created another outstanding, although sometimes almost unbearably bleak, album covering very similar territory.

The Independent

The masculinity-defying diffidence of Elverum's voice  couldn’t be more indie, but his words now add all the weight he needs.

No Ripcord

Just like Crow, there's a lot to take in. But Elverum remains unflinchingly committed to his art, where he begins to accept that there may be more to life than death, after all.


Now Only becomes a more downbeat album than A Crow Looked at Me and a less necessary one.

The Needle Drop

Phil Elverum's songwriting enters purposefully rambly territory on Now Only, a worthy epilogue to last year's A Crow Looked at Me.

Northern Transmissions
Though the words are unbelievably emotional and detailed, they can often feel like too much to some people. Along with this, the music becomes such an afterthought in many songs that the album feels monotonous.
The Guardian

Now Only is an album it’s hard to imagine anyone listening to for pleasure: it’s incredibly brave and hugely – understandably – self-indulgent. What it does, unequivocally, is tell the truth, albeit a profoundly uncomfortable one.

This morning I awoke knowing I was going to attend the funeral of an old childhood friend of mine, someone who passed away far too early, a beautiful young man who was a blessing to have as a friend even for a brief time. I stood in my house getting dressed for this occasion with this album playing on my turntable, listening to Phil explain the pain I felt in such a stunning and impactful way. The music spoke to me in a way nothing else ever has, I felt a comfort in hearing these words. While ... read more
Compost and memory.

This one, I figured I'd give it time. Time to grow up a little with me, to get to know each other better, without being rushed by the urgency of having to account for the existential devastation of a man whose music touches my heart and who lost his wife. The time it takes for this "Now Only", with its cover full of images evoking memories that are not mine, to become something other than the object of analysis, and to give ourselves the opportunity to become one ... read more
"Now it is waiting and nobody cares. And when your wait is over this room will still exist and it will continue to hold shoes and dress and boxes and maybe someday another waiting person. And maybe not. The room doesn't care either."
Man, time is a bitch

This album feels like a continuation of A Crow Looked At Me. While that can be a good and a bad thing, this album is still absolutely beautiful. I was a little worried this would be a little too similar, but I don't think it is. I feel like it's a continuation, but also an appropriate progression with more lush instrumentation. It has some of the same themes from A Crow Looked At Me for sure, but it also brings in the idea of mortality and Phil's mortality as a focused ... read more
why did i listen to this after skipping my antidepressants /j
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Added on: January 16, 2018