Grouper - Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill LP
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 the coy part – Liz Harris' most structured and least opaque 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 elegant melodies yet creepy in its more droning, 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 plenty of clean guitar articulation though the aura of her previous echoplex heavy approach remains. At times, she reverts back to the gorgeous icy 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.