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grouper - Cover The Windows And The Walls
EXTREMELY LIMITED COPIES!!! I've never been able to contain my undying love for Liz Harris's Grouper project. In merely three albums (this vinyl-only beauty being the third) she has shot to the top of my favourite artists list, and 'Cover the Windows and the Walls' is perhaps her most accessible to date. A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with someone about the wonders of Grouper and he was convinced that the records owed a lot to the Thames valley shoegazer scene, whereas I was babbling on about Popul Vuh and the like. So I didn't see the shoegazer reference then, on hearing this album it all became painfully clear - this is Grouper's shoegaze record. Harris's wonderful scene-setting debut album 'Way Their Crept' was mostly vocals, and the followup 'Wide' began to incorporate guitar and even piano into the tracks, but here almost every piece has decomposed, feedback laden, almost drowned guitar sounds underpinning them, creating a soup of electric noise not so far removed from My Bloody Valentine's classic 'Loveless'. Okay so mass appeal might not be right around the corner, but this is breathtaking, heart trembling stuff - and even has moments where you could (almost) sing along. The opening title track is possibly one of the finest Harris has yet committed to record, with the curving waves of guitar perfectly matched against her unique vocals - still smothered in curls of smoking noise and crumbling ambience. I find it hard to sum up my feelings about her music in language, this is the sort of record I can play and fall into a trance for the entire duration, melting away into the bubbling lava of sound, becoming enveloped in some of the most gorgeous and most subtle harmonies this side of the spiritual plain. I won't say any more save that this is a one time pressing of 300 copies and is already sold out at the source, we have 30 copies left and they're gonna go quick so PLEASE order now if you want to secure yourself one. And why anyone wouldn't want to own something like this is totally beyond me... so crucial and without a doubt one of the albums of the year for me.