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Graham Holliday

drawn to… Country Tropics by Old Saw

I started drawing this a week or so back after first hearing the Country Tropics LP by Old Saw. I’ve had this four-track musical wonder on all week and—whenever I had an hour or so spare (not often, as it’s been a bumper-sized, busy week)—I worked on this drawing while the music played.

In no way does the drawing do justice to the simply AMAZING LP, nor, I think, does it really reflect the music. In retrospect, I think this drawing is just something I did while listening to the LP.

Country Tropics is ambient, analogue, avant-garde, Americana, spattered with pedal steel, bells, banjo, fiddle drones, burring nylon, and pipe organ, and it is incredibly soothing. I like this description of the band by worriedsongs,

A network of New England string pluckers, organ drivers and bell ringers crafting a rusted and granular shadow world where the dive bar meets the divine.

Search out Old Saw on Bandcamp – you won’t be disappointed (unless that is, the vinyl is sold-out). And, here is an interview with Henry Birdsey, one of the brains behind Old Saw. His take on how and why he makes music is enlightening and spot on,

Sound is innately terrifying and haunting. And it holds this magnetism over us because of that. We’re talking about physical pressure waves that are invisible and inescapable.

Annex 1: On Track 3: Dirtbikes of Heaven, Grains of the Field, I swear that at around the 2:40 – 3:00 mark, you can hear the exact same refrain as can be found on this track by Primal Scream on their much-maligned 1987 debut LP.

I made this drawing using four H and HB pencils on almost LP-sized Clairefontaine acid-free paper.You can find more of my drawings to music on Instagram.

Graham Holliday is an editor, writer and media trainer with twenty years experience working on editorial, educational and digital projects for the BBC and others.