Grouper – “Ode to the blue”

Gordon Ashworth

Grouper – “Ode to the blue”

Gordon Ashworth

It’s been a few years since Liz Harris released any of the spectral, expansive music that she records under her Grouper moniker. Next month, though, Harris will release Shade, a new album of Grouper songs recorded over the course of 15 years. Harris has already shared the early track “Unclean Mind,” which marked a return to the acoustic-guitar reveries of the older Grouper records. Today, Harris has followed that song with “Ode to the blue,” another song built around nothing more than Harris’ voice and an acoustic guitar.

“Ode to the blue” is a soft, tender piece of music, and it finds Harris singing in crystalline tones over her own spare, elegant guitar work. There’s a lot of tape hiss on the song, and it seems to exist out of time. Nobody else on earth weaves this kind of fragile spell. The song has a video, from director Dicky Bahto, that’s made up entirely of grainy black-and-white footage of couples kissing tenderly in a cemetery. (One of those people making out is Julia Holter.) Watch the video below.

Shade is out 10/22 on Kranky.

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