Ben Salter is a bit of a star in the firmament – his long term engagement with the iconic Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart resulted in a trilogy of brilliant concept albums written and recorded in the vast halls of MONA and he followed this up curating some enticing performances during the most recent Dark Mofo Festival.
Today, while touring in Japan, Salter has announced his new album (while apparently naked) entitled ‘Sublimation’, which is heralded by the release of the title track.
The single has a wonderful cacophony of sounds that opens the track and continues to bubble under the surface like a babbling brook. The instrumentation swings with a fulsome beat while Salter’s vocals draw upon the ghost of a ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ era Bowie. It has more of an indie pop vibe that his trilogy as a whole had, but still has that special visceral delivery that reflects Salter’s proficiency at songwriting and recording.
Lead guitar comes courtesy of local legend songwriter and producer Jethro Pickett.
The song was recorded late last year at Salter’s studio installation at MONA in lutruwita/Tasmania, part of an abandoned song cycle ‘Pierres’, a Band camp-only release. In his own inimitable and eloquent style, Salter says:
All the lyrics were loosely based on a Wikipedia bounce I did centred around Enceladus, who was one of the giant offspring of Gaia and Uranus and is now purportedly buried under My. Etna in Sicily. It led me to the entry for a lesser known Herman Melville novel, Pierre, that I have never read. I clicked on, gaining velocity, and ended up at French post-structuralist Jacques Lacan’s version of the psychological concept of sublimation, where most of the nonsense comes from.
It is terrific and immersive stuff as ever from the master entertainer.
The album is out next week and can be pre-ordered below where you can listen to the single:
Salter is in the middle of an extensive tour – you can catch him tomorrow night in Tokyo, Japan and then back in Australia and New Zealand. Details below and tickets available here.
28th Sep Sub Store Tokyo JPN
6th Oct Buffalo Club Fremantle WA
7th Oct The Bird Perth WA
13th Oct The Grace Emily Adelaide SA
14th Oct The Cumberland Hotel Port Adelaide SA
19th Oct The Eastern Ballarat VIC
20th Oct Memorial Hall Tallygaroopna VIC
21th Oct Tanswell’s Beechworth VIC
22th Oct Smiths Canberra ACT
23rd Oct Nethercote Hall Nethercote NSW
26th Oct La La Las Wollongong NSW
27th Oct P etersham Bowling Club Sydney NSW
28th Oct Link & Pin Woy Woy NSW
1th Nov Junkyard Maitland NSW
2th Nov Capones Bar Port Macquarie NSW
3th Nov The Eltham Hotel Eltham NSW
4th Nov Stranded Bar Brisbane QLD
5th Nov Banshees Bar Ipswich QLD
10th Nov George Lane St KIlda VIC
11th Nov The Old Bar Melbourne VIC
17th Nov Major Tom’s Kyneton VIC
18th Nov Shedshaker Castlemaine VIC
19th Nov Wowee Zowee Mornington VIC
25th Nov Wine Cellar Auckland NZ
26th Nov Freida Margolis Auckland NZ
29th Nov TBC Hawke’s Bay NZ
1th Dec Poquito Wellington NZ
2th Dec Le Cafe Picton NZ
3th Dec Mussel Inn Golden Bay NZ
7th Dec Barrytown Hall Barrytown NZ
9th Dec Lyttelton Coffee Co Lyttelton NZ
15th Dec Grainstore Gallery Oamaru NZ
16th Dec Maggie’s Dunedin NZ
23rd Dec Simple Complex Hobart TAS