Salt and Lye – the introduction
There’s a host of artists looking to create sentimental, emotional, personal dream-pop music. With the inflation of wounded-souls in search of these kinds of sounds, it becomes difficult to discern between the true romantics, and the ones chasing a fad.
There’s little doubt where the project Salt and Lye sit. Their tape-recorded “the introduction” sounds like music you’ve found by accident. It’s something between Daniel Johnston’s early cassette-recordings and Mazzy Star’s lushly executed creations.
There’s so much silence in this recording that it almost feels like you are walking through elbow-high snow while hearing it. It’s so soft, and gently distorted by the quality of the tape, that by the time it’s over, you may question whether that music was ever there, to begin with.
Ludlow – Ellen, Oh Ellen
Music, more than any other art form, accompanies all important events in a group of people’s lives. “Ellen, Oh, Ellen” by Ludlow functions in that tradition. It’s a “coal mine blues”, a workers’ song, a page in the Americana storybook.
Musically, the song is built on fast-paced acoustic guitar strums, accentuated by violins and gentle percussion. As with these type of ballads, the vocals and lyrics dominate the event. The words “Our God left the mine and the devil came through” play out as the main theme of a song that tells the story of the 1902 Fraterville Mine Disaster.
Most interestingly, especially considering that this is a group of young musicians, is the fact that they cover the events like reporters, not mere gossip-tellers, or songwriters on the lookout for exotic topics. “Ellen, Oh Ellen” was written in a classic mould, and the quality of the writing makes the tune feel ageless.