Grouper’s music has always been shrouded in mystery. Composed of a perfect gray-scale and subtly dissolving somewhere in a space between the conscious and the unconscious, it is at its best an isolating experience. Liz Harris knows how to move through that space, enter it wide-eyed and exit without loosing focus. You’re drawn into her world through ambient sounds that are always in motion, expanding and exploring. It’s not immediate, it requires patience. Once you’re inside that space you’re free to tap into emotions that aren’t necessarily always accessible.
On her latest single ‘Call Across Rooms’ taken from the forthcoming album Ruins, Harris doesn’t rely on her usual framework of reverb pedals and vocal loops. Instead she’s shut herself in a room with a piano, adding an even more apocalyptic mood than any amount of white noise or guitar effects could achieve in equal measures. It’s the perfect setting for an aching story of her trying to get through to someone who seems to be beyond her reach. Her delivery is as secretive as before but her voice is clear and up front, although closer to at whisper her words are still not obscured. Grouper is rarely this obvious and communicative and her lyrics seldom this easy to decipher. The haunting presence of her voice absorbs the entire space. ‘Call Across Rooms’ makes you anxious to see more of this side. Then again, it is the enigmatic nature of her music is that captivates you. You’re not supposed to get it at once. It is when you take the time to decipher the experience that you can fully embrace the beauty of Grouper.