Grouper
Paradise Valley [7-inch; Self-Released]

Liz Harris’ email chain slid a sneaky missive under the 2016 radar, hinting that something old and possibly new would be cropping up on her recently launched Bandcamp page. So, it was a little (but still) surprise that Paradise Valley came a few measly hours later in a small physical edition. It seems every little Grouper release is an instant collector’s classic, and this is no different. I’m sure some believe I’m talking about the secondary mark-up on her limited runs, but what I truly mean is every piece of Harris’ art is worth the instant purchase in any etherical form it may possess at this moment. It just so happens I got in under the buzzer and nabbed a piece of the tried-and-true physical tradition. Digital is awesome y’all, but ones and zeroes don’t add up to t-shirts! “Headache” is achingly beautiful, returning to the slippery isolation of Dragging a Dead Deer…. It’s also a slightly brighter take on a migraine, settling into the constant, throbbing pain but finding it a calming, if unwelcoming, center. “I’m Clean Now” flips it upside down, and though it retains the same foggy production and inherent Grouper “aesthetic,” it quickly unfurls itself as opposed to its A-side mate. “Headache” is the long, choreographed stretch of a feline cracking its pained joints; “I’m Clean Now” is the speedy atten-TION of a cat back on her feet and ready to pounce. After the pain comes a certain clarity; after a satisfying realignment of bones comes a moment of spryness. It was a rather long stretch from last we heard from Harris (2015’s The Original Faces with her band, Helen), but Paradise Valley, is the cat ready to strike once more. At least, that’s the hope.

Links: Grouper

Cerberus

Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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