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Liz Harris has released a surprise album under the moniker Nivhek, titled After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house. Harris is best known for crafting lush, hypnotic songs as Grouper, having released nine full-length albums under the name since 2005, including last year’s acclaimed Grid of Points.
This new material is Harris at her most atmospheric and amorphous, particularly on the standout opener “After its own death: Side A.” It clocks in at almost 17 minutes, but it’s not even the longest track out of the four on the album. “After its own death: Side A” can’t really be considered a song in the normal sense, and the same goes for the other three tracks. It’s more of an extended musical thought, expressing one idea to its end and then moving on to the next.
“After its own death: Side A” introduces many of the vague melodies and motifs scattered throughout the album, including the echoing of Harris’ voice into its own chorus section and the reverberating bell tones that make up the bulk of the melody. While Harris’ voice is usually the main thing keeping Grouper’s music tied to the ground and within reach, here it acts as a helium balloon, lifting the music up with it and into the clouds.
After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house was released on Yellow Electric Records. Harris made the music during residencies in the Azores, Portugal and Murmansk, Russia, as well as at her home in Astoria, Ore. Check out the full album (and tracklist) below.
After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house Tracklist:
01. After its own death: Side A
02. After its own death: Side B
03. Walking in a spiral towards the house: Side C
04. Walking in a spiral towards the house: Side D