Before a Drama Unfolds

An outtake from Nathan Moody

Nathan Moody has shared this outtake from his 2020 De/Still album, for which I wrote the liner notes, ““Palimpsests All the Way Down.” The track opens with field recordings of everyday noises and equally quotidian conversation, and a guitar line that feels less like part of the whole and more like an introduction. At first, the guitar feels almost like a brief opening cue before a drama unfolds. Then the guitar doesn’t so much fade in as come into focus, like it was always there but has deigned to make its presence truly felt, to become part of the production, to become the production. There’s something in Moody’s mix that, at least through my speakers, sends some of the voices off into the distance, so it’s as if they’re commenting from the fringes rather than appearing center stage. He’s right that the piece doesn’t entirely make sense in the context of De/Still, which is a series of sonic reactions to the work of photographer TJ Norris. This track is its own thing, and it’s great it’s out in the world.

Track originally posted at Check out the album a

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