Fresh Stream




Oh man, oh brother. What a beautiful album. I feel like this one unwraps some of the gauze off of the darker Dragging a Dead Deer up a Hill (2008) and reveals something so gentle, so tender, so sublime that it’s almost too pretty to look at. Somewhere in the smoky, purple hues of these nearly funereal moments (“STS,” “Being in her Shadow”) are the gentle strums of an acoustic guitar and GROUPER’s barely-there bird songs traveling through the immediate air of the quaking dawn. Sometimes these birds sing to each other across tree-tops (“Cover the Long Way”). Expect multiple dimensions within. Liz Harris’ more incidental tracks (for which she is known) linger like delicate webs between branches (“Vanishing Point”), while proper songs are framed like emotional close-ups of water droplets dripping off ultra-green leaves and sanguine blooms becoming apparent in the first morning rays. And while Harris’ work shows just one mind softly laying it out for you on The Man Who Died in his Boat, layers of rhythmic downstrokes on tracks like “Clouds in Places” and “Towers” reveal an imaginary band that is deeply influenced by the likes of Kevin Shields at his prettiest. Out on KRANKY.

-Jonathan Donaldson

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