As Grouper, Portland-native Liz Harris makes hazy ambient drones that have been called "silent cries for attention that go unnoticed". Grouper's music conjures a wounded animal's cries reflecting off every tree branch or the sound of a person slowly coming to terms with ocean waves washing over them. More than resignation, many of her great songs were about restlessness, searching for a place where "spirit meets skin". New side-project Helen (which Liz Harris formed with friends Scott Simmons and Jed Bindeman) retains that restlessness, while ratcheting up the RPMs. The band tongue-in-cheekily labels their music "pop" on their iTunes page, but anything this blown-out is unlikely to appear on Billboard anytime soon. Harris' vocals continue to fight to be heard, though the foes have shifted from floating ambient scapes to fuzz guitar, bass rumbles, and punctuating drum blasts. “Felt This Way” could pass as Best Coast if Bethany Cosentino stood 30 feet from the microphone and never saw the Sun. Harris never stays one line for long, she glides over all. Harris is still "searching"; new project Helen just hastens the pace.
The "Felt This Way" single is available on iTunes now, backed by B-side "Dying All The Time".