Wyrd Visions, Half-Eaten Guitar (out now, P.W. Elverum & Sun, wyrdvisions.com)
Wyrd Visions is not for casual listeners. Toronto songwriter Colin Bergh’s project disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived in 2006, taking with it its only record, Half-Eaten Guitar—a limited pressing from Blue Fog Recordings that quickly sold out. Luckily, Phil Elverum (the Microphones, Mount Eerie) was one of the few who heard it, and he’s reissuing and remastering it on his own label. While this will likely bring Half-Eaten Guitar a larger audience, it’s still going to take a lot of effort for it to fully reach the masses. Bergh makes this clear right away with “Sigiln,” an expansive 10-minute opener that repeats the same eerie melody and monotonous acoustic-guitar riff. There’s a sense of levity when it transitions to the next track, “Ceremony,” which expands the lofty melodies but without the endurance test. If it weren’t for the sweltering electric guitar on closer “Air-Conditioning,” the album might sound like a lost relic from a forgotten, mystical era—which in many ways, it still is. It’s an album to let wash over you completely, to allow a full soak in its obscure textures; a cursory listen will not fully reveal the beauty that hides beneath the weirdness.