The Original Faces
As the singular voice and ghost spirit behind Grouper, Liz Harris has made some of the most hazy and haunted—not to mention beautiful—records of the last few years. Her ethereal songs often feature vaguely discernible lyrics against layered overdubs of tape hiss and guitar abstraction. They’re challenging and delicate. With her new musical project Helen, Harris continues on her effective musical journey with Scott Simmons (guitar/bass), and Jed Bindeman (drums). Interestingly self-defined as a “pop group,” Helen’s debut album The Original Faces conjures the earliest sounds of 4AD shoegazers Lush, but without some of that band’s more obvious pop overtones. It’s an addictive sound, as if the early ’90s records released on labels like Creation and Slumberland have been stripped of all excess, then run through some kind of reverb grinder. The Original Faces packs a spectral wallop.