Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Frost” by Salem from their 2010 album King Night on IAmSound.
Salem ‒ Frost (MP3)
A dark mixture of dubstep, crunk and industrial, Salem’s toxic sounds are downright haunting. Finding a comfortable spot between lucid dreams and nightmares, the Michigan-based group is both a mellowed bone-chiller and soul stirrer shrouded in a whirlwind of mystery; The band refuses to play live and rarely allows photographs. Made up of three musicians, John Holland, Heather Marlatt and Jack Donoghue, Salem sounds like a demon-possessed version of the Knife, chopped and screwed in the eeriest of ways. That said, the band says they would love to collaborate with the likes of Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em and Gucci Mane, rather than electro artists they might get grouped in with.
The self-professed hermits admit to their love of seclusion, their lack of a television (and regular sleep schedules), and their love of snowy winters. With quotes like “I feel inspired musically when I see a large burning fire in the middle of the forest, smoke and fog, large waves and expansive bodies of water,” you sort of wonder if they are just a sham or if you really should rush over to their hidden dwellings and pump them all up with some anti-depressants. Whatever the case, Salem is treading uncharted waters. Whether or not you want to ride this wild ectro tidal wave is up to you.
For now, Salem is touring the U.K. and Europe. They’ll likely be back through the U.S. in the not too distant future. Check their MySpace page for updates. Just a warning: their live shows can be a bit polarizing, but they are definitely well liked on record. Here’s the recorded version of their song “Asia”: