Sketch for Winter VI: Other States
Whilst Geographic North’s ‘Sketch For Winter” series may imply a collection of glacial meanderings, Danny Paul Grody’s ‘Other States’ instead delivers concise tribute to the shades of weather within the Western American landscape. Polar winds and clouds may suggest a dark terrain absent of landmarks; but, with the wisdom of the well travelled, Grody has chosen to construct his settlement in the space between melody and atmosphere. The material shows a logical progression from his last, ‘Furniture Music, but also combines the layered dynamics of ‘In Search Of Lights’ with the peyote Americana of ‘Between Two Worlds’.
The label and the artist acknowledge the release as a frostbitten hybrid of Loren Connors and Cormac McCarthy; abstract blues meeting a Southern Gothic literary aesthetic. Of the two, the McCarthy comparison sits most comfortably. The six tracks work as individual chapters, different stories in different voices – extremely sparse, coherent and succinct prose.
Anyone familiar with Grody’s previous output (be it with Tarentel, the Drift, Believer, Maholy-Nagy or solo) will find joy in the shattered strikes of amplified storms in title track “Other States”. Completists will also be interested to note that long time collaborator Trevor Montgomery recorded the penultimate track “Only”.
The sequencing of pieces suits the cassette format well, and the distinctive Geographic North graphic design is clear and simple. Another expressive addition to a stellar discography by an artist that strikes with assured self-expression on each blow.