Track Review – Grouper – Alien Observer

Watching Grouper play at Dalston’s Cafe Oto back in November, one thing you notice is her unwillingness to play familiar songs. 2008’s Dragging a Dead Dear Up A Hill was forgotten about, and in it’s place a long, drawn-out and capitvatingly wholesome performance centred around 2 or 3 gentle, hauntingly slow guitar riffs and Liz Harris’ own echoed whispers.

This sample from the self-released I-A-I (a release including 2 albums, Alien Observer and Dream Loss), focuses on a haunting arpeggio floating above a surprisingly loud cacophony of Harris’  voices. This continues the above song-less feel to Harris’ music, as movements fade in and out and feel as though they could end at any given point with a paradoxical urgency/fragility.

What’s interesting is the level of Harris’ voice. Similar to Dragging…, you can’t easily make out what she is saying as the echoes clash and lose themselves against each other. Yet, whilst the music seems more stripped down, the voice seems louder, becoming the main instrument and embodying all the energy and momentum present. The result is very strong, and definitely wets the appetite for more.



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