Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grouper - Cover the Windows and the Walls

Cover The Windows And The Walls
(2007, Roots Strata)

Grouper is the musical mystery of Portland native Liz Harris. With a purposely limited palette Harris has created and spectral feast that relies completely on her vocals after they are drowned in reverb and manipulated with multiple layers and effects, with occasional guitar and piano strumming or plunking their way along like a noble lapdog. The simple idea of it has always been a strong persuasion for me but has, up to this point, fallen slightly short of what I wanted from it, making me ache for want of the fulfilled potential it harbored. With the super limited (only 300 copies!!) vinyl only release of her most recent full length, Cover the Windows and the Walls, Harris has not only reached that much desired potential but has created a whole new mark for music of any type to reach for. Aside from the maddening fact that you will never be able to find a copy of the long sold out vinyl (fortunately, I have received word that a CD version of the LP is expected to be released from Roots Strata soon), Cover the Windows and the Walls is the most pleasing album I have heard this year. It is almost instantly relaxing and increasingly beautiful as it drifts like an abandoned ship on an empty lake. Harris is more accessible here than ever and may have stumbled upon some of the most perfect sounding tones and melodies that I have heard in a long while. Cover the Windows and the Walls ranks up there with personal audio sedatives like Eluvium's (also of Portland) Talk Amongst the Trees and Fennesz's Endless Summer. Cover the Windows and the Walls is a perfect musical statement and is deserving of a much larger audience.

-Mr. Thistle

Grouper - "Cover the Windows and the Walls"

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