Where have you been all my life, and why in the name of hell have I missed out on you for these last several years? These two questions have been dominating my mind for the last four hours while exclusively listening to the latest two albums from Liz Harris, or more commonly known as Grouper; seriously, four hours of hazy warm sounds with the gentle cooing of a voice that only furthers the atmosphere that she generates.
AIA: Dream Loss is one of this duo of records self released by Grouper, but I have to say that the album’s moniker is a terrible misnomer as listening to this record in the dark while half asleep makes you feel as though you already are asleep and adrift amongst the gently lapping sonic waves (quite literally even as that is almost always my initial reaction to the ebb and flow rhythm of “Dragging The Streets”); and the vocals only enhance that feeling of beauteous disconnection that comes with the touch of reverb. Even when there is a decent amount of distortion in the guitars (see “I Saw A Ray”), or when Ms. Harris drops some drones, they do not overcome the music or melody but seemingly enhance them in the best ways imaginable like on “Soul Eraser” (the vocals on this song are sickeningly sweet and just kill me). The most impressive aspect of AIA: Dream Loss is the fact that you put the album on and just let the music consume you while not caring at all that individual songs gently pass on through as the record plays from start to finish (getting up to flip the platter as the sole intermission of course); it feels so obvious that this is an album and not some thrown together batch of tracks.
Grouper instantly mad me an ardent follower with AIA: Dream Loss and its beautiful sonic ether that is so ultimately bewitching, and, sure, maybe this is the reverb hangover talking but maybe the album is so different sounding because it sounds like the complete absence of malice; Grouper sounds otherworldly and comforting, and this may be weird, but if there is an afterlife or a state of perpetual nirvana, then I want this to be the soundtrack to my forever.
8.5 / 10
Though I’ve been familiar with the name Grouper for some time, perhaps it’s not entirely coincidental that the solo project from Portland, Oregon-based artist and musician Liz Harris has never ...
The Man Who Died in His Boat (released February 2013) is a collection of songs by Grouper, a.k.a. Liz Harris, one-woman ambient/noise/folk/dream-pop impresario of Portland, Oregon. Harris has been active since ...
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