As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Danny Paul Grody.
At first glance, Danny Paul Grody’s name won’t immediately jump out and demand attention. As a contributing member of San Francisco outfits The Drift and Tarentel, that won’t matter — for DPG has a lengthy canon capable of getting noticed.
It doesn’t hurt that Grody’s solo work is equally worthy. In Search of Light, his latest via Cincy-based Students of Decay, is a release of magnificent depth and emotion, furthering his evolution as an artist worth recognition.
In Search of Light is best placed as delicate. Grody’s guitar work is intuitive; he graciously strums notes for maximum impact, all from minimal impact. These melodies are enveloped in warm, spacious atmospheres, largely the product of soothing drones that whistle like the wind. This is truly the work of solitude. Thoughts placed in musical measurements, carefully doled out like medicine for our collectively wounded souls.
Grody’s bare bones approach mirrors the calm within the chaos of a maddening world; an artist with nothing more than a guitar and a synthesizer, able to transform both into old world currency. “Headlands” is an ominous unraveling, a sad organ grinder winding away without the merrymaking monkey to coax joy from his windy contraption. “Star Gaze” reflects on lonesome contemplation as the cosmos burns and fades above us. The pat on the shoulder of “Hello From Everywhere” is one last warm embrace before being pushed into the cold. “Union” provides warm rays of sunlight to remind us that as bad as it seems, there is always a silver lining.
It turns out In Search of Light creates its own, the search as easy as placing your needle down upon the spinning wax.