Grouper – Call Across Rooms – Play It Again, Sam

Grouper - Call Across Rooms

Intimate and Isolated

Have you ever wondered what the ambient beauty of A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Stars of the Lid, or Dustin O’Halloran would sound like with vocals? Enter Grouper. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Grouper is the nom de musique of musician Liz Harris and it turns out she’s been going for a while. Since 2005 she has released eight albums of ambient melancholic gorgeousness and collaborated with the likes of Xiu Xiu and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, with whom she created Circular Veil, a seven hour piece of music designed to mimic one sleep cycle.

“Call Across Rooms” is her latest offering from upcoming album Ruins. It is a delicate, fragile, meandering piece consisting solely of a bare, subtle vocal performance over a simple but mesmerising piano line. It is claustrophobic and vaguely Middle Eastern in tone and the intimacy of the vocal combined with the piano suggests a song written in the early hours of the morning after hours of restless insomnia. In a totally random and unconnected thought it sounds to me like what the formation of an oxbow lake would sound like if it made sound.

Ruins has been recorded on simple field recording equipment and as such promises to be the closest listeners have gotten to Grouper to this point. Right about now I think you should probably just stop reading my ramblings and close your eyes, sit back, and let the song wash over you.

Ruins is out October 31st via Kranky.