San Francisco singer-songwriter Graham Norwood shared the latest single from his debut album Out Of The Sea, “Collapses To Zero.”
Norwood also announced Out Of The Sea will be released on January 31.
“My main memory of this song is that it was the first thing we recorded for Out Of The Sea. It was the first time this group of musicians played together, and I just remember how exhilarating it was for us all to come in for that first playback and hear all those great sounds swimming around in a glorious pool of plate reverb. None of the players knew each other and we had never played the songs before, so that was a great moment of ‘yes, I think this is going to work.’”
The album was recorded with an all-star band including bassist Dan Edinberg (The Stepkids, Anderson .Paak), pedal steel player Dan Iead (Norah Jones, Valerie June), vibraphone wizard Brittany Anjou (Okkervil River, Elysian Fields), and drummer Bill Campbell (Andrew Bird, Cass McCombs).
After earning his living as a sideman in New York City for most of his twenties, Graham Norwood decided to leave music behind, at least in the professional sense.
“I fell in love with a painter, and it seemed like if we wanted to have any kind of a stable life with a house and kids someday, we couldn’t both be allergic to money,” he laughs. “I decided I should get a ‘real’ job and just let music be my hobby.” When his marriage started to fall apart, though, he returned to New York for a trial separation, and he instinctively found himself gravitating back towards music as a survival mechanism, as a way to work through the heartbreak and loneliness and confusion of it all.
“That was the time when music meant the most to me,” he reflects. “When I got back to New York, I started writing my own songs for the first time in probably a decade, and that’s what kept me going that whole first year as the divorce went through.”
Recorded with acclaimed producer/engineer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Phish) and mixed by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth), Norwood’s gorgeous and heart-wrenching debut, Out Of The Sea, represents just a fraction of the music he wrote during that tumultuous period. Norwood writes with a raw, unflinching honesty grappling with isolation, doubt, and depression as he artfully documents the long and winding journey to self-discovery and acceptance. It’s a journey that Norwood, who’s legally blind, has been charting for much of his life.
“Growing up, I didn’t want to deal with the vision stuff,” he reflects. “My greatest fear was that I would be known as ‘The Blind Kid,’ and I didn’t want to carry that label with me my whole life. As I got older and fell in love with music, I realized that performing was an opportunity to transcend my disability, to not have that be the first thing people noticed about me. If you can play, you can play, and that’s what counts.”
“Collapses To Zero” follows previous single “Greenfield” which Mother Church Pew praised for its “soaring strings and folk-centric melancholy,” also stating that “Norwood evokes the likes of Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens.” The track was also included in the October 2019 Pandora Picks playlist.
Out Of The Sea tracklist:
- Hard Times
- Collapses To Zero
- Lazarus Avenue
- Kate’s Song
- It’ll Never Happen Again
- Out on the Shore