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Regional Interests

Grouper, 'Unclean mind'

In the past, Liz Harris' hushed voice has meshed into Grouper's ghostly atmosphere. There's often a sense that her songs leave a trace of memory behind. Lately, Harris has foregrounded that voice; her lyrics are no less mysterious, but she impresses emotions and ideas upon whatever you bring to the music. "Unclean mind" feels like an echo of an older mode — furtively strummed acoustic guitar, breathy double-tracked harmonies — but dispenses with the ambient textures that clouded previous work. The track comes from Shade (out Oct. 22), an album culled from 15 years' worth of recordings, so there's a possibility that "Unclean mind" comes from that era. Still, the heavy mood remains, in a pained melody that recalls Elliott Smith.

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