Earlier this year, we reviewed Jared Saltiel’s phenomenal full-length, The Light Within. Last week, his brother Jason Saltiel released an equally brilliant EP, Wait Until The Night. Where Jared’s LP used a lens of ornate chamber-pop to explore fantastical lyrical adventures and americana blues, the other Saltiel focuses that same lens of ’60s lounge-pop and bossa nova. Part Bacharach, part Jens Lekman, Saltiel’s melodies soar in an elegant but fragile falsetto, his chords cleverly move in unusual ways, the arrangements (written by both Saltiel brothers) swell with strings, woodwinds, and various percussion instruments.
In addition to releasing four solo albums, Andrea Perry has made a career for herself in music publishing and composing for video games and commercials. This varied musical experience is evident in her smart, sophisticated pop music. Four, Perry’s most recent project, is a perfect example of this. As beautiful as her melodies and lyrics are, it is her immaculate arranging skills that stand out.
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.)
Oh! My Blackbird is a NYC-based chamber folk trio led by singer/songwriter Annie Sullivan. Sullivan’s songs are quirky, personal, and consistently catchy. On Dare Me, the band collects 10 songs that blend lush and sophisticated instrumental and vocal arrangements with decidedly immature lyrical themes. Which is not to say that the lyrics are expertly crafted. Sullivan’s songs about young romance and heartbreak are honest and perceptive.
Young songwriter Michael Goodman, at 22, shows his craft is far beyond his years on the debut full length What We Want. The great collection of Power-Pop gems shows off Goodman’s competence for recreating the magic of those early dB’s and Elvis Costello albums while speaking for a new generation. He boasts that the album is for “nervous young people, tossing and turning because we don’t know just what we want,” and while that’s not so far off, I feel that his appeal is much broader than he accounts for. The arrangements are simple but effective and well executed and the melodies are instantly memorable. The album is as fun as it is melancholic and contemplative, and in the midst of the great year for Power-Pop that was 2012, What We Want calls attention to itself by relying more on his song-writing chops than on the production style.
Curren$y, a rapper coming out of New Orleans, has been in the game for quite some time now. From his time in Young Money Cash Money to his appearance in XXL top Freshmen list. In his time in the rap game he has linked up with many artists especially in his mix tapes ( Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean etc.) releasing great songs for people to hear. He has also released albums that have helped him achieve the fan base he has now. Just yesterday he released an album titled The Stoned Immaculate, but is this album enough to push him to the top?