Over the course of her career, Liz Harris' music has grown more diffuse, almost as if the passing of time has been gradually wearing away at its foundation. When she began recording as Grouper twelve years ago, her songs were often wrapped in numerous layers of effects pedals and usually with guitar placed front and center. But starting four years ago with Ruins, she began peeling those layers back, reducing them to just voice and piano with a few spare effects.

The results were far from underwhelming though, as it turned out to be some of the most devastating and gorgeous music she had composed yet. Despite a four year lapse in time, Grid of Points essentially picks up where that album left off. Recorded in 2014, shortly after Ruins was released, the mood here is even more sombre, with Harris touching on themes of isolation and finding inspiration from “the idea that something is missing or cold,” describing the songs as “small texts hanging in space."

Being the recording took place in Wyoming, you could almost argue that the surroundings somehow contributed to the overall tone of the album, particularly its uneasy stillness and skeletal beauty. This is her shortest release, but not by choice. Having spent a week and a half working before falling ill, Harris then felt the album was complete. Despite its brevity at just 7 songs in 22-minutes, the handful of songs here accomplish more than most average full-lengths do in terms of emotional depth.

The spacious arrangements of 'Driving' and 'Parking Lot' - particularly the aching pauses in between notes - exude feelings of quiet despair but also an odd sense of comfort. On 'Birthday Song' there's something slightly off-kilter about the keys, that, along with layers of looped harmonies, are all at once haunting and stirring.

Probably most jarring moment comes from the hushed melancholy of 'Breathing', whose ghostly beauty is suddenly disrupted around the two-minute mark by the sound of a distant passing train that fills out the remainder of the song before giving way to an almost deafening silence. It's a perfectly devastating way to close the album, one that elicits a rush of overwhelming emotions from wistfulness and aching to yearning all at once. It leaves the impression drifting away in bed to the lonely sounds of distant trains and troublesome thoughts. Yet that brief twinge of sadness is offset by an odd comfort that makes the closure feel complete.

This could easily qualify as her "lo-fi" project as throughout the album you can make out a distant warm hiss, almost as if these songs were recorded on slightly worn physical tape. The thing about it is though, it doesn't sound the least bit cheap. If anything, she manages to coax some incredibly rich and detailed music out of simply made recordings, and though her words are mostly unintelligible and tucked just behind sustain pedals and are often looped to otherworldly effect, it doesn't diminish their impact in the slightest. Instead, she uses her voice as another instrument to add further layers.

What's gratifying about it is that it doesn't offer any instant gratification. To listen to a Grouper album is to momentarily disconnect yourself from the reality around you and lose yourself in a completely new one where time doesn't exist. Albums like this are refreshing for that exact reason; you actually have to have enough patience to allow the beauty and grace of her work to reveal itself, but in the end your patience is more than rewarded.