Leiko Ikemura, Sven ‘t Jolle, Mai-Thu Perret, Sophie von Hellermann & Sybren Vanoverberghe
Over the course of a vast number of releases, mercurial elder statesman of Pacific Northwest indie rock Phil Elverum has created a distinctive sonic universe under the guises of The Microphones and now Mount Eerie. His new album, the proper follow-up to his 2012 albums Clear Moon and Ocean Roar, contains all the hallmarks of his signature sound: droning organs, cacophonous drums, distorted guitars, angelic female vocal harmonies, yet another song entitled ‘(something)’ and, at its core, the beating heart that is Elverum’s own soothing, almost child-like voice. Sauna isn’t so much an adventure as it is a stroll following a new route through familiar territory. Fortunately it’s gorgeous territory which seems capable of revealing something wondrous every time Elverum explores it.