Sally Grayson has emerged from behind the Black Swift disguise with a new record of mystical desert rock. Jangling guitars, pedal steel, and heat-shimmering reverb all conjure the epic distances of the American southwest and the kind of loss and longing that only the desert highways can fix. “The Darkness In Me” presents a passionate appeal to all those who have gone through the heartbreak, have shared their darkness within and are yet still on that highway looking for love and connection in the further hills of the near future. A western gothic romance filled with haunted highways, long sunsets, mysterious strangers and the impossible longing and grief that propels the ride across the starry night, the album asks the question many of us have been asking: how can so much suffering and so much love exist side by side? How can we move forwards into the hope of a new dawn in the midst of so much systemic prejudice and pain? What’s around the next bend and over the next hill?
An American living in Germany, Sally felt the calling of the vast open spaces of the American southwest and traveled to Tucson AZ to record the songs at Dust and Stone Recording Studios where Gabriel Sullivan (XIXA, Giant Sand) produced and performed. The record was made with the help of a variety of session musicians: Winston Watson (Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon, Alice Cooper), Thøger Tetens Lund (Mark Lanegan, Howe Gelb), Ryan Alfred (Nick Lowe, Calexico) Nick Dehmlow (Lucille Furs), Conner Gallaher (Calexico), Brian Lopez (XIXA, Calexico), Kat Jones, Anna Illenberger (Kitz), Ralv Milberg (producer of Die Nerven, Human Abfall), and Ben Nisbet (Tucson Symphony Orchestra)
While the record is evocative of mythical visions of the west in the land of her youth, Sally has found that it is a German word that helps to explain her songs best: Sehnsucht: Sehnen- to pine, to long for, to ache for something; Sucht- to be addicted. The need for longing, and the longing to be needed, it’s a desire suggesting that the journey across the mystical desert plain is far more profound than any destination.