Grouper – Alien Observer

About 3 years ago, Phil from Meursault and I were going to jointly put on Grouper at the Wee Red Bar.   It was going to be great.  Then we realised that the gig was going to clash with another show, which would have undoubtedly taken away a massive chunk of our potential crowd and left us in a financial pickle.  So, we pulled the show.  3 years on, I don’t regret that decision.  However, I do still love Grouper and possibly even more than ever with the release of this sublime diamond of dreamy, ambient, drone, noise, under water love.

Seriously, there is something really special about Liz Harris’ music, which casts a spell on you from the first moment until the last.  Lots of artists attempt to capture the feel of listening to music under water but not many do it well.  Harris is a master at taking something quite definitive, firing on some reverb and tremelo and transporting you to the bottom of the sea, to a world where the darkness is only broken by the beautiful sparkle of fish.

Indeed, in the olden days stories existed of sailors being lured to their death by the songs of mermaids.  Grouper, in my head, perfectly captures this idea on the first of her two new records.  I admit, I’ve not had a chance to absorb ‘Dream Loss’ yet as I’ve been too busy falling in love with this wonderful piece of music.

What is so wonderful about this record is that in just 6 songs Harris manages to take ambient tunes, noise tunes, straight up pop tunes and mould them together using only lovely production and her stunning voice.  It really does feel like a work of art.  It’s just gorgeous.  ‘Come Softly’ is a gem of track and has been on repeat all week.

I now have to drag myself away from ‘Alien Observer’ though and move on to ‘Dream Loss’.  I am slightly nervous because in my head it surely cannot be anywhere near as good.  If it is anywhere near as good I think I might actually weep with joy.  Seriously.  I will report back next week on how it all goes.  Keep your fingers crossed.

In the meantime, check out Grouper here.  And enjoy.


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