Saltland, led by Rebecca Foon, formerly of The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Set Fire To Flames, and featuring Jamie Thompson as well as guest musicians enter the stage with the stunning debut-album ‘I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us’. Saltland’s debut album is the work of many musicians, who help to create beautiful, and at times almost visceral images through the marrying of various instruments and haunting vocals. It seems that Foon has pulled out all the stops with this record, and has presented a record that is truly impressive. It seems under Foon’s direction, she has managed to craft together incredible sounding songs that are in some ways, rather unconventional in consideration of what is often described as ‘normal’. It is, however, ultimately more interesting, and incredibly satisfying to listen too.
Fans of the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Esmerine and many other of Constellation Records’ notable bands will find a lot to enjoy in Saltland’s debut release. The album feels typical of Constellation Records releases in that it is full of surprises that for the most part are pretty unpredictable. Our first introduction to Saltland was the ghostly beauty of ICA, whose haunting violin strings, accompanied by Foon’s vocals seemed to set the stage for the whole album. As it turns out, ‘I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us’ is an incredibly diverse and unpredictable album, with tracks of varying dynamics. It is at first surprising, and it gives an incredibly mysterious element to the whole album, as everything becomes unexpected and anticipated. The many various instruments help paint the bigger picture, which brings up an incredible range of emotions through all the songs.
‘I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us’ is a perfectly crafted record. The album features incredible instrumentals, built up around string instruments, and accompanied by a whole host of other instruments. Most notable is in the second track, the appearance of Colin Stetson and his distinctive saxophone sound. Other tracks include sparse percussion, which helps build up the mystical elements of the album. Everything seems synonymous with each other, as though every element is as vital to the song as each other. Even Foon’s vocals themselves seem to fall in amongst the layers of instrumentals, with the lyrics sounding less like lyrics and more like an instrument of their own. It especially works when Foon herself simply hums gently into the microphone, adding another beautiful layer that works wonderfully with the instrumentals already in place. The whole album exudes an extraordinary amount of creativity, that is only really seen in independent scenes such as Constellation Records.
Saltland’s debut record ‘I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us’ is perhaps one of Constellation Records finest releases. The album displays an extraordinary amount of creative force, with everyone coming together to benefit the record itself. It is exactly how music should be written, and it is incredibly refreshing to hear music like this. It is perhaps unconventional of what people usually expect, but in truth, what we have here is music as an art-form, rather than just a mean to make money. Those who enjoy music that is just different, will definitely find much to enjoy in Saltland’s debut release. It is certainly one of the finest records released this year so far.
- ★★★★★ 5/5
- I Thought It Was Us
- But It Was All Of Us
- Hearts Mend