Grouper: The Man Who Died in His Boat


From its humble beginnings on psych-folk and noise labels like Free Porcupine Society and Collective Jyrk, Liz Harris' Grouper has steadily culled darkly solemn ditties with her guitar, voice, and tape effects. The Man Who Died in His Boat recounts a particularly harrowing event from Harris' youth: namely finding a corpse in an abandoned boat on a beach. The sordid subject matter is delivered with the same deathly angelic beauty of previous work, while the production is more refined than ever before. The tape hiss and sense of decay channels William Basinski's aural melancholy, playing just as large a part as Harris' voice and strumming. Tapping in on a lost strain of gothic, shoegazey drift, this one is yet another haunting chapter in Grouper's beautifully morbid narrative. (4 out of 5 stars)