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Grouper

"Water People" / "Moving Machine"


[Marfa Recording Company; 2011]



By ; August 31, 2011 


Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

Recorded at Texas’s non-profit gallery and studio Ballroom Marfa, Grouper’s latest single “Water People” recalls the intimate guitar work of her 2008 LP Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. What’s more, continuing the trend seen on her double album A|A, the track applies a thick layer of reverb but also sounds clearer than anything she’s recorded before, with guitar notes and vocals resounding with a confident clarity that reminds the listener of Liz Harris’s tender songwriting prowess.

B-side “Moving Machine” employs similar guitar work and a delicate electric piano as she sings about “making pattens in the water” and othe placid ephemera. Of couse, this being a Grouper song there’s more than a little tension lurking beneath the pretty surface; at one point, she mentions that she “carried your body along the…” and then trails off. Moments like this raise the question: is Grouper’s music melancholic because of a sense of regret or simply as a natual result of her low-fi ambient folk? The question remains unresolved, though I hope she continues to explore such ambiguity, as it’s proven immensely gorgeous in her capable hands thus far.


8/10







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