Grouper
“Children”

As we reported yesterday, over 200 labels and artists are joining Bandcamp in donating 100% of its share of today’s profits to the Transgender Law Center, among other various organizations. One of those artists is TMT favorite Grouper, who today shares a new track called “Children.” All proceeds from “Children” for the next 24 hours will be donated to Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Transgender Law Center, and Trans Assistance Project.

Grouper’s every message seems to be sent with invisible ink, and while the lining at the heart of her music has always implied a relational ethics of precarity, “Children” is maybe her most direct statement yet about the specific heartache of this moment (in the continuity of American imperialism) and the restlessness that stirs us from sleep. Just to hear her sing “murdering” is disarming.

From Liz Harris:

Towards the end of making RUINS I wrote a song that never made it onto the album. Though it felt aesthetically similar, something about the content and energy felt distinct in a way that didn’t fit the rest of the music. I pushed it away, unsure what to do with it, and eventually forgot I’d recorded it. This year, amidst chaotic and painful political times, while working on another project, it reemerged and made more sense.

The song delivers us to an overcast beach, perfect in its cool calm at the beginning of summer’s end, but the melody that unfolds in its middle betrays a knowing horror at the shadows from above. The wind rises. The waves crash then fail. The fear quiets down. We fall back on the room for dreamers, to be overlooked.

“Children” could name the childish and careless warring of disinterested states; the childlike care to preserve the carefree in ourselves and each other; a fearful hopefulness, that the horizon might not recede from potentiality, but toward it, come softly.

With every Grouper release comes the chance to parse words from the whisper, like remembering the details of a dream, trying hard not to break the spell of the feeling. But even once the lines become clear enough to tattoo, it’s always still interpretation. Here, the images move like the ripples of a pond reflecting something burning. I guess, I pray:

Once I dreamt I woke up inside a room
All the other dreamers were there
Swaying back and forth with roses on our cheeks(?)
All their eyes were closed(?)

Watch how the clouds move the water
Walking the sky through the sea
Watch how we turn in their shadows
Murdering the world in our sleep
Wish I knew a way to erase these bitter traces
Of the patterns and the powers(?) that we’re used to
Poisoning ourselves with intentional deception(?)
Setting fire to every foreign land we come to
Killing every foreign thing we come to
I’m waiting for the hour that we come to/back(?)
There’s nothing else to come to/I’ll succumb to (?)

Once I woke up in a room
All the other dreamers were there
Even as we slept they were sleeping
Nobody knew we were there

(for Peter, Gabe & Lindsay)

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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