Grouper, the moniker of Portland’s experimental song crafter Liz Harris, showed up on numerous best-of lists last year with her debut for Type Records, Dragging a Dead Dear up a Hill. The moody landscapes and darkly delicate vocals parallel the title in its resemblance of a wistful forest, at times howling only to be followed by faint whispers. For Harris’s first release of 2009, she’s self-released a split 7-inch with City Center, the latest lo-fi project of Fred Thomas, of Saturday Looks Good to Me and His Name Is Alive.
The A-side, “False Horizon,” harbors the familiar sound of Grouper’s previous release, yet the vinyl gives her murky strums and croons added warmth. City Center’s “This Is How We See in the Dark” utilizes backward masking and vocals hidden behind the haze of the instrumentation to create a lovely odd-pop number to finish the split. All that on limited-edition clear vinyl.