Sally Grayson – The Darkness In Me

By Ryan G

Call it confirmation bias, but a scant three songs into the new full length from this album I’m listening to, I’m more convinced than ever that the Audiofeed Community has led me to some of the most underrated artists on the planet. Enter Sally Grayson.

Sally spends much of her time abroad, but sometimes makes her way back stateside to hang out with the likes of folk punk and fun duo Destroy Nate Allen and other members of very specific corner of the DIY community. Some Facebook sleuthing reveals some more friends in common – dream-rock songwriter Troy Petty and goth rockers Leper.

The title track of this album being a dark twist on Americana wasn’t at all a surprise, even knowing little about her tunes. I recall the first time darker songwriting really moved me to a chilly place – listening to Mount Eerie’s Clear Moon in 2012. That’s been an impossible standard to break (how do you recreate a novel feeling, anyway?) but I’ve been chasing this vibe ever since.

What has been a surprise is just how lush and multidimensional this record is. Sally’s bio labels this record as one of “mystical desert rock.” That phrase brings to mind old movies and TV shows, where the protagonist spends the night in the middle of the desert. You never quite know if something sinister is lurking around the corner or if they are going to bond with their comrades in a particularly poignant way. Perhaps both will happen.

That’s kind of what listening to this record is like. “Said” juxtaposes the bluesy, gravelly vocals of Gabriel Sullivan with her own melancholy musings, on a bed that feels surprisingly sunshine-drenched. Are we in the desert or a flowery field? Nevermind though – “Melt Into Your Arms” is the dark power ballad you needed to remind you of the realm we really entered with this album.

“Dig” might be the most fun song on the record. The vocals are drenched in reverb and that bass is heavy. Imagine if Royal Blood lived in the Black Hills of the Dakotas for a year and hired your sweet friend next door to do the vocals. And it isn’t corny – at all. It’s badass.

Album closer “The Golden Hour” is as lush as it gets. A motif repeats through, adding a hint of the ethereal, creating a rather striking backdrop. It’s also perhaps the most straightforward lyrically on the record. The sad refrain of “say goodbye!” on repeat is countered by the instrumentation which offers some mysterious comfort.

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a dark record that just hits different, The Darkness in Me is good bet. I hope I can catch Sally’s next tour stateside.

Also, this was a priority album review for August because Joel Swanson recommended it as a subscriber to our Patreon! You can check that out here.

Follow Sally Grayson on Instagram.

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