Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Jared Saltiel can often be found working behind the scenes, channeling his talents as a string arranger, producer, and composer for the stage. A manic multi-instrumentalist in the vein of Jon Brion, his original music taps into his gifts for orchestration and atmospherics, receiving comparisons to chamber pop icons Rufus Wainwright and Sufjan Stevens. With his acerbic wit and crafty narrative constructions, Saltiel is a compelling lyricist and an unapologetic perfectionist. Today he releases “A Stranger, Your Name” – the first taste of his new EP, Dream Song, out on March 24 via Adhyâropa Records. Watch the video for “A Stranger, Your Name” here.
A soul-searching record written entirely during the peak of social distancing, the shadow of unprocessed grief hangs over this haunting new collection of songs, ranging in style from spacey indie rock to baroque singer-songwriter pop. Performing the vast majority of the instrumentation himself, Saltiel worked with producer/engineer and longtime collaborator Ken Rich (Ingrid Michaelson, Son Lux) to help craft the detailed sonic textures.
Despite the rich, full-bodied sound, Dream Song is a very intimate affair, with the only other contributors being Maxim Moston on violin (Antony & the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright), and Emily Hope Price on cello (Pearl & the Beard, Kishi Bashi). No matter the topic, be it ghosts, fascists, infatuation, or Exodus, these songs seek out disquieting ambiguities with uncompromising honesty.
Of Dream Song, Saltiel shares: “There’s a throughline of deeply penetrating introspection in these songs. There’s very little that’s performative or self-conscious about the material; it’s like the songs are not concerned with the outside world, only interested in going deeper. And I think this record manages to exist in that space without feeling self-indulgent because there’s that sense that nobody’s watching. It’s just a sincere attempt to process some really heavy experiences.”
Of “A Stranger, Your Name,” out today, Saltiel shares: “When I first came up with this guitar part, it just sounded like a wedding to me. I had this cynical idea of writing the kind of semi-cheesy song that brides would want to walk down the aisle to. But when I tried, I quickly realized I was constitutionally incapable of doing that unless it was completely sincere, which it wasn’t. Instead, this sad, enigmatic story came out. It’s not autobiographical, but I’ve had my fair share of tragic romances so I can easily imagine being in the narrator’s shoes.”
Regarding its accompanying video: “A lot of my songs tell stories in the lyrics, so when it comes to music videos I often run into the same basic quandary of how to visualize the narrative without just literally depicting the plot of the song, line by line. Talking to Abner [music video director; lead singer of the band Eighty Ninety] about ‘A Stranger, Your Name,’ we felt like the ambiguity of the lyrics was a core element of the song, certainly not an accident, so we decided to embrace that rather than force the viewer into a particular interpretation. The guiding concept for the video was “wedding meets funeral,” a phrase that came to me in the shower, like many good ideas. That was the jumping-off point for a lot of the stark contrasts in the video, in color, movement, costume, etc. I guess the question was – how do we show that this is the happiest day in somebody’s life while also being the saddest day in somebody else’s? And moreover, how can we do that in a way where we’re not totally sure who’s who?”
Jared Saltiel will celebrate the release of Dream Song with a live performance on Friday, March 24 at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3. Tickets are available now.
Dream Song tracklist:
1 Tree of Life
2 Infinite Mercy
3 Dead or Alive
4 Folie à Deux
5 A Stranger, Your Name
Pre-save Dream Song here.
More about Jared Saltiel:
Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jared Saltiel is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, producer/arranger, and occasional composer for theater. As a solo artist, he has released two quixotic full-length concept albums (A Light Within, Out of Clay), and two straightforward folk-rock EPs (One More Revelation, No Heroes), receiving praise from Atwood Magazine, Impose, and Songwriting Magazine. As a producer and arranger, Saltiel has worked with artists such as KAYE (of San Fermin), Bell the Band, Sea Glass, and Cassidy Andrews. His theatrical work has been featured in Time Out and The New York Times.
Jared Saltiel: Official Site / Spotify / Bandcamp / YouTube / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / SoundCloud / Apple Music
You must log in to post a comment.