Grouper

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mediocreplayer
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Grouper

Post by mediocreplayer » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:51 am

I did a search and she does not have her own thread. Though shadowplay brings her up every now and then in the SOTD thread. And in doing my due diligence I found recommendations from him for her side project Helen, which I liked a lot.

I got into her through the song Clearing, which is one of the most beautiful beautiful beautiful things I have ever heard.

I have no idea what she is saying in any of these songs, and this is starting to annoy me a litte. So my questions are: 1) what has a similar vibe but decipherable lyrics? and 2) Is there something similar that has fuzz/noise in the background? As I write this it seems that I am describing Mazzy Star, but maybe there is a better approximation out there.

Anyway, she has a new 20-minute album out, which is also beautiful.

Image

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Re: Grouper

Post by shadowplay » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:45 am

Nice to see a Grouper thread, I think she's an incredible artist and I just lose hours wreathed in her beautiful dank and yet somehow hopeful vapours. I was hoping Ruins and especially Grid of Points might have opened her up to a wider audience, not sure if it has as deserved as it would be but it's not difficult music, unless beauty is some kind of unknown impediment these days. Grid of Points reminds me a wee bit of of Edith Frost seen through a haunted mirror, more skeletal and all enveloping greys but still some kinship back to a folk ancestor one more time removed. She also sometimes reminds me of Jessica Bailiff (the Paradise Valley Grouper seven from the other year is getting into this territory) and Julianna Barwick on occasion but I think it's to her credit that she's not really one of those artists where you find yourself unpicking her seams and looking into the parts.

Off track a little...but I loved the two songs she did with The Bug on their Exist 2X12 EP.

True haunted Dancehall

The Bug - 'Void' ft. Liz Harris (of Grouper)

The Bug - 'Black Wasp' (feat. Liz Harris)

You might like Penelope Trapps whose album Penelope One was one of my absolute favourites from last year and which IMO has a certain pensive vaporous beauty in common.

Penelope is also in the Golden Filter who very much don't sound like Grouper but are still ,magic in their own glitter eyeshadowed way.

I'd also go into bat for Cucina Povera whose album Hilja is indescribably beautiful. It's not obviously like Grouper but it's got that atmospheric filigree chill and vast space and it puts me in mind of the indigenous music or 'fakelore' of an uncontacted and yet somehow technically advanced arctic tribe.

D
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Re: Grouper

Post by MatthewK » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:07 am

If you want a similar feeling to Grouper with a little more clarity, you might like Tiny Vipers's album Life on Earth - and Jesy Fortino has also worked with Liz Harris under the name Mirrorring.
https://tinyvipers.bandcamp.com/album/life-on-earth
https://tinyvipers.bandcamp.com/album/m ... reign-body
Also early His Name Is Alive might have some appeal - Livonia, King of Sweet, Home is in Your Head - but it's a stretch I think.
Grouper is, however, untouchable and beyond great. Make sure you hear the two A I A albums (Alien Observer and Dream Loss) and the breakout Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill.

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Re: Grouper

Post by shadowplay » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:16 am

MatthewK wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:07 am
Make sure you hear the two A I A albums (Alien Observer and Dream Loss)
Yeah those two records are fantastic.

Really good call to advance a case for early His name is Alive.

If anyone doesn't know them have a gander at Tempe off the album Home is In the Head, it's gorgeous.

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Re: Grouper

Post by shadowplay » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:13 am

mediocreplayer wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:51 am
1) what has a similar vibe but decipherable lyrics?
You might want to have a look at Hilary Woods new album Colt which I just got this morning on Sacred Bones.

I just had a look at the her bandcamp and lo and behold;
. Somewhere between Marissa Nadler, Grouper and Julee Cruise
She's also edging into Agnes Obel territory but her record isn't as good as the totally brilliant Citizen of Glass.


Hilary Woods - Colt (Bandcamp)



Hilary Woods - Inhaler (video)

D
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Re: Grouper

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:56 am

I guess you're looking for something more contemporary, and maybe you'd rather stick to pared-down piano accompaniments (though you did mention you'd like to hear something similar with a fuzzy guitar backdrop), but in my mind you could draw a line from (what I've heard of) Grouper's stuff to some of Françoise Hardy's more pensive chansons, like Le Premier Bonheur du Jour, or Vashti Bunyan in one of her many 'tiniest-voice-ever' moments.

Keren Ann often gets into somewhat similar territory, I guess, especially on her Nolita LP.

Apologies if I'm missing the mark entirely; "similar" is almost as subjective as each individual's taste sometimes....

This is probably a million miles from what you asked for, but for some reason it popped into my head when I was trying to think of songs as fragile as a faerie's best china: Sonoko - Wedding With God

Likewise, not quite the noisy fuzziness you asked for, but following in the footsteps of Karen Parker's Honeyed tones, this is the absolute quintessence of the 'genre', and probably the song that inspired the term "Twee as fuck", but still a guilty pleasure of mine (once a year tops, probably): Talulah Gosh - Just a Dream.
mediocreplayer wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:51 am
2) Is there something similar that has fuzz/noise in the background? As I write this it seems that I am describing Mazzy Star, but maybe there is a better approximation out there.
At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious here on OSG, you could equally be describing almost any My Bloody Valentine song sung by Bilinda Butcher....but I'm sure you knew that already. :)

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Re: Grouper

Post by mediocreplayer » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:45 am

More Liz!

I don't know who Roy Montgomery is but I like this. Sort of fulfills what I was looking for earlier in the thread: Noisy Grouper.

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Re: Grouper

Post by shadowplay » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:51 am

You should check out Ekin Fil, she got a similar refracted whisperspeak atmosphere to Alien Observer Grouper but I forgot to mention her earlier. Ghosts Inside and Being Near are good elpees.

mediocreplayer wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:45 am
Roy Montgomery
I like Roy Montgomery, my favourite thing he ever did is probably a pretty quirky but really wonderful seven inch called London is Swinging by his Neck.



He's probably better known in the US for his Hash Jar Tempo collabs with Bardo Pond, particularly Well Oiled and for his excellent ultra lofi 'and Goodbye' with Flying Saucer Attack. Temple IV on Kranky is another worthwhile checkout among piles and piles of releases.

D
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Re: Grouper

Post by gringopig » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:34 am

I should buy some Grouper. I only have heard about Liz Harris because of Jesy Fortino (Tiny Vipers) and I love the Life on Earth LP.
In terms of lyrics, I always loved the first 3 REM albums despite not being able to make out what Stipe was singing about.

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Re: Grouper

Post by mediocreplayer » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:42 am

shadowplay wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:51 am
You should check out Ekin Fil, she got a similar refracted whisperspeak atmosphere to Alien Observer Grouper but I forgot to mention her earlier. Ghosts Inside and Being Near are good elpees.

I like Roy Montgomery, my favourite thing he ever did is probably a pretty quirky but really wonderful seven inch called London is Swinging by his Neck.



D
This Roy Montgomery track is wonderful. Thanks!

I listened to all of Ekin Fil's Ghosts Inside. It starts ok, but I cannot actively listen to this kind of music. It is too much of a mood piece -- great to put in the background as I work or do other stuff, but lacking on other dimensions that I enjoy. One thing I like about Grouper is that even though this mood aspect is quite present and strong, it is also very musical -- I can hum many of the tracks when I am not listening to it, which is usually something that is common to all the music that I enjoy in the long term.

I see she has another record called Inflame. I will give that a listen as well.

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Re: Grouper

Post by dinosaurkale-> » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:16 am

playing here soon. definitely gettin tix.

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Re: Grouper

Post by øøøøøøø » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:28 am

I quite enjoy Grouper

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Re: Grouper

Post by Venice Lockjaw » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:21 pm

MatthewK wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:07 am
Make sure you hear the two A I A albums (Alien Observer and Dream Loss)
I've started working my way through these, really enjoying it so far. I first heard of Grouper after the Ruins album came out, liked the tracks I listened to but never really dived into the album (or any of her other albums) properly before. She exists a bit outside my typical musical interests, which is exciting.

I've read a number of people like to consider her music "ambient" or "dream pop" but that doesn't feel accurate to me. I like Shadowplay's description of folk (or at least folk-descended), her songs feel elemental, tied to nature - a connection that is only strengthened by the often obscured lyrics/vocals. I think this primal quality often belies the complexity of her songs though, at least in the case of A | A.

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Re: Grouper

Post by MatthewK » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:46 am

Yeah there's a lot going on there.
Amazing work by the late Paul Clipson who made movies for her shows - here is "Made of Air" from Ruins:
https://vimeo.com/109943175
and this is "Headache" which I love so much it nearly kills me.
https://vimeo.com/195999938
I often think listening to Grouper is like remembering her songs while you're listening to them.

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Re: Grouper

Post by Jan Deal » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:23 am

Grouper is great, but I'm glad that I clicked on this link as Tiny Vipers is an act I had totally forgotten about!
http://seasstarry.bandcamp.com/ - Fuzz / instrumental / Shoegaze

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