Here's our review of the most recent Grouper album, Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill, released on the Type label:
Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill opens with an entirely characteristic yet coy swell of effected elemental smear, crumbling delicately yet forcefully, until giving way to what is, to date, and here is the coy part, Liz Harris' most songwriterly and structured album. As opposed to the rich swaths of drone that up until now defined her sound, Harris has shifted from the abstract towards a more distinct and figurative sound. True to the title, the record unfolds like a sort of mysterious and morbid fairytale, innocent in its clear and elegant melodies, yet creepy and highly abstract in its more droney and sublime interludes. For the most part, her guitar playing is laid bare, removed from the dense fog of effects that typically occlude them. And what we discover is actually a pretty strummy record, with plenty of clean guitar articulation though certainly the aroma of her previous tech heavy approach remains in what is relatively speaking still pretty effected. At times she even reverts back to the gorgeous icey crunchy string attack of some previous efforts. With so much space liberated in the absence of drones, we also get to hear her stunning voice. Furthermore, the occasional audible lyric creeps to the surface, one standout fragment being "Love Is Enormous," a somewhat shockingly affirmative sentiment from an otherwise darkly mysterious and abstract persona. From start to finish Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill lulls you into its graceful murmurings and hypnotic thrumming. An exquisite addition to an already compelling discography. Recommended.