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GROUPER

Eagerly anticipated new album from Liz Harris AKA Grouper.

IN HER OWN WORDS...

Ruins was made in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 on a residency set up by Galeria Zé dos Bois. I recorded everything there except the last song, which I did at mother's house in 2004. Iʼm still surprised by what I wound up with. It was the first time Iʼd sat still for a few years; processed a lot of political anger and emotional garbage. Recorded pretty simply, with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano. When I wasnʼt recording songs I was hiking several miles to the beach. The path wound through the ruins of several old estates and a small village.

The album is a document. A nod to that daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love. I left the songs the way they came (microwave beep from when power went out after a storm); I hope that the album bears some resemblance to the place that I was in.

TRACK LISTING

1. Made Of Metal
2. Clearing
3. Call Across Rooms
4. Labyrinth
5. Lighthouse
6. Holofernes
7. Holding
8. Made Of Air

Grouper

Shade

    The 12th full-length by Pacific Northwest artist Liz Harris aka Grouper is a collection of songs spanning 15 years. She characterizes Shade as an album about respite, and the coast, poetically and literally. How we frame ourselves in a landscape, how in turn it frames ourselves; memories and experiences carried forward mapping our connection to place.

    — An ode to blue / What lives in shade —

    Songs touch on loss, flaws, hiding places, love. Deep connections to the Bay Area, and the North Coast, with its unique moods of solitude, beauty, and isolation—a place described and transformed by the chaos and power of river-mouth, wild maritime storms, columns of mist that rise up unexpectedly on the road at night. Portions were recorded on Mount Tamalpais during a self-made residency years back, other pieces made longer ago in Portland, while the rest were tracked during more recent sessions in Astoria.

    Throughout, Harris threads a hidden radiant language of voice, disquiet, and guitar, framed by open space and the sense of being far away.

    Echoing a lighthouse, burying the faults of being human / Into things that we project upon the sky at night.


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Followed The Ocean
    2. Unclean Mind
    3. Ode To The Blue
    4. Pale Interior
    5. Disordered Minds
    6. The Way Her Hair Falls
    7. Promise
    8. Basement Mix
    9. Kelso (Blue Sky)

    Not long after recording her 10th album, Ruins, Liz Harris traveled to Wyoming to work on art and record music. She found herself drawn towards the pairing of skeletal piano phrasing with spare, rich bursts of vocal harmony.

    A series of stark songs emerged, minimal and vulnerable, woven with emotive silences. Inspired by “the idea that something is missing or cold,” the pieces float and fade like vignettes, implying as much as they reveal. She describes them as “small texts hanging in space,” impressions of mortality, melody, and the unseen – fleeting beauty, interrupted. Grid Of Points stands as a concise and potently poetic addition to the Grouper catalog.

    From Liz Harris: Grid Of Points is a set of songs for piano and voice. I wrote these songs over a week and a half; they stopped abruptly when I was interrupted by a high fever. Though brief, it is complete. The intimacy and abbreviation of this music allude to an essence that the songs lyrics speak more directly of. The space left after matter has departed, a stage after the characters have gone, the hollow of some central column,
    missing. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Simmering slow piano, beautiful layered vocals and cavernous reverb all form together to make this one of Harris' most enthralling outings to date. Perfectly tender but undeniably hard-hitting, these pieces are brimming with emotional heft and speckled with moments of spine-tingling beauty. Stunning.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. The Races
    2. Parking Lot
    3. Driving
    4. Thanksgiving Song
    5. Birthday Song
    6. Blouse
    7. Breathing
    8. Coal Train 


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