Grouper makes hummingly sentient music. While it comes across as deliberate and precise—its power of focus is undeniable—there is a commanding effortlessness to her sound, an off-the-cuff feel which is shocking considering how good it is. It seems like she has this art at her fingertips 24/7 and just sits down to record when she feels like it, and that’s probably true. Indeed, “Call Across Rooms” has the unprocessed feel of a demo, but it is kind of a perfect song—in the tradition of folk-style laments, but with that ineffable Grouper touch, that beguiling mixture of light and dark tones and textures. It's perfectly short, and seemingly about one thing: the challenge of communicating from a distance, whatever that distance may be. She sings, I have a present to give you, when we finally figure it out, at a glacial pace, with an enunciation just in-between cerebral removal and deliberate, involved intention. Here's to counting the days until October 31st when her new album Ruins comes out.
September 11, 2014