Article originally appeared on The Music Jan 27th 2017
If you hold Duke Garwood up to the light, all you might see is the silhouette of some gothic country contemporaries. It’s easy to pick out those influences, but much harder to dig up the true meaning in his work. Whether celebratory or inflammatory, there’s a not-quite-resigned passivity there, almost nonchalance, and it can make you wish he were more chaotic and melancholic. Although full of sumptuous imagery and crafty instrumentation, Garden Of Ashes is slightly too delicate, too ‘take me as you will’, and Garwood’s crushed sandstone intonations often leave much of the emotion just out of reach.