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Salem played Glasslands (pics), releasing CD on IAMSOUND

DOWNLOAD: Salem – Frost (MP3)

photos by Erez Avissar

Salem…
Salem

On a series of breathy, claustrophobic EPs and singles beginning in 2008, Salem— the trio of John Holland, Heather Marlatt and Jack Donoghue — has been honing an oozy, cold style; a pastiche of several strains of pessimistic music: there are hints of noise-rock and shoegaze, as well as the stamp of the Houston rap pioneer D.J. Screw, who slowed records down until they became gummy and desperate.

It’s not fun, this sound. And onstage it was even hazier. All three members took turns out front. Mr. Holland, who never took off his ski cap, sang, gripping the microphone hard, with hands heavy with rings. Ms. Marlatt — who has a sweet voice, very well hidden — was smoking while she played her keyboard, and smoking when she sang. (But hey, so were people in the crowd.)

She helps enliven “Redlights,” one of Salem’s best songs, which on Tuesday night was like M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” as heard through thick earmuffs, all low end and distortion but maintaining the hypnotic cyclicality of the beat. [NY Times]

The above review is from the group’s show at Glasslands on January 5th, which is also the source of the pictures here. Salem will be releasing their first full length album later this year on IAMSOUND Records. More details will be announced later. More pictures from the Brooklyn show below…

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