Danny Paul Grody writes music for film, in addition to collaborating with several bands and presenting his own experimental music. I mention this because the sweeping transcendence on the opening cut, “Hello From Everywhere” places In Search of Light (Students of Decay) into a stunning cinematic perspective. Grody populates his second solo LP with airy acoustic guitar and subdued instrumentation, but the strummed guitar and synth riffs on the opening track place a certain haze or feel over the remaining proceedings. Grody immediately establishes the ambiance of the album, which steers the listener towards a specific experience of his following tracks.
On their own, one might mistake each of Grody’s tracks as peaceful, rolling folk. Thematic twists, progressing from song to song, unveil an ambiance that quietly builds from the subtle tracks. On “Orbits,” Grody intertwines arpeggios that are neither ringing nor dissonant, establishing true peacefulness. “Union” builds on “Orbits,” establishing expectation or suspense with a descending guitar line advancing beyond anticipatory light pauses. By the close of the first side, Grody clearly advances the initial cinematic sweep into a still, peaceful assemblage.
On the second side, the drones of “Stars Gaze” contrast the still first side with modulated volume. The volume swells, slow and steady, as underlying arpeggios carry the arrangement. Following the tremolo on the electric guitar in “Ohr,” Grody uses new sonic tools to continue the overall theme of In Search of Light. If the A-side feels still and peaceful, the life of those tracks swells into steady pulse on the B-side. By the time Grody introduces new sonic elements on the second side, those sounds feel as radical as the sweeping track that opens the album.
Ultimately, Grody’s album offer peaceful, transcendent ambiance. Despite the changing arpeggios, lines, and instrumentation, Grody’s attitude and approach succeed in offering a serene recording.