Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
Verdict = Dreamy and blissfully accessible
After last year’s maddeningly limited yet gloriously beautiful Cover the Windows and the Walls LP through the wonderful Root Strata imprint, Liz Harris’ Grouper project is back and this time around things are increasingly accessible in more ways than one. First off, as the second release this year from the rejuvenated Type label (he first being the incredible Float by Peter Broderick), you can rest at ease knowing that Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (an amazing album title by the way) is by no means limited. In addition to a more standard, widely distributed release Grouper’s musical mysticisms are more approachable than they have ever been before. While her back catalog has always been shyly obfuscated by a heavy dose of Portland mist, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill sees that selfsame mist receding into the background leaving Harris’ songs in the naked forefront. While the mist may be gone, the heavy, dreamy Grouper beauty that we have come to know, love and become lost in remains. Mostly just voice and guitar, Harris’ minimalistic approach still finds a way to fill every nook and cranny of the room, bleeding into every crevice like an unavoidable fog. Things stay pretty moody and gorgeous all the way through making Dragging a Dead Deer easy to digest. In fact, the album probably stands next to Stars of the Lid’s Tired Sounds as the next best thing to fall asleep to when restless. Completely disarming and gorgeous, Grouper created a haunting masterpiece that will resonate with you for days after you’ve listened to it…that is if you can go days without listening to it. Perfectly essential.
Grouper - Heavy Water / I'd Rather Be Sleeping