Jared Saltiel- The Light Within
Brooklyn based singer/songwriter Jared Saltiel just released his debut full-length album, The Light Within. The singer/songwriter label, however, doesn’t quite cut it for Saltiel’s music, which is more abstract and impressionistic than it is confessional. His songs tell complex stories filled with word play and fantastical imagery. The sophisticated lyrics are matched with equally sophisticated music. He blends together lush orchestral arrangements and shifting harmonic landscapes with a more traditional blues and folk sensibility, adding up to a kind of rhapsodic blues-pop. (However ridiculous that description may be, it’s what I keep coming back to whenever I think about Saltiel’s music.)
The Light Within collects Saltiel’s two previous EPs, Caught Beneath The Wheel and The Dogs At Nighttime, and adds four new songs. Of the new material, the opening and closing tracks create a multipart story, using much of the same musical material. With his most literary lyrics, the songs tell the story of a man in search for his father in a fantasy world of kings, dark forests, and ancient cities. His lavish stories, however, focus on real human emotions, and the abstract imagery serves to deepen the expression of his characters.
Musically, Saltiel’s mix of blues-style guitar playing and straightforward melodies with the expansive chord changes and beautiful orchestral arrangements is truly unique and refreshing. The ballads like Black and White and The Moon, Mary, & Me soar with swells of strings and other subtle textures. While the up-tempo songs like Solitaire, Holy Grail Blues, and Designer Dogs are filled with idiosyncratic and surprising outbursts from the orchestral instruments.
The Light Within, despite being built from multiple releases, is a thoroughly cohesive work. It also feels much more polished than a typical debut, staying more focused on a single sound world rather than over reaching. This is especially impressive given his access to the orchestral instruments which could easily become overdone or misused.
You can check out (and buy!) The Light Within on Jared’s website
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