Salim Nourallah – See You In Marfa
I must say for a 5 song EP the packaging is beautiful. Full color, bright die-cut 4 panel quite impressive. It shows pride in the work contained. The majority of songs were recorded in Nashville with one in Dallas, TX. And don’t let the foreign-sounding name fool you – before he came to Texas he was born in that foreign country known as Illinois.
This is quite a good set of music. Produced by Marty Willson-Piper (former member of Australian band The Church) & Salim Nourallah. The 16-minute See You In Marfa (Drops Aug 19– Happiness Records) was created by a young man who produced music for the Old-97s, Rhett Miller & the 9th LP by Diesel Park West.
This new collection was a collaboration between Salim & Marty Willson-Piper (electric guitar) & is considered a bit of a teaser for their eventual full-length album together. The songs are basically pop-oriented but not necessarily dipped in syrup like so many songs are today. Fortunately, Salim’s lead vocals (acoustic guitar) are not typical commercial dribble. They’re individually constructed with what’s expected – hooks, good lyrics, memorable melody, short.
The first tune “See You In Marfa,” – (an actual city in Texas & not a foreign country). There’s a breezy country feel that runs through the tunes but little to suggest this is 100% proof country music. It doesn’t have an overwhelming country flavor.
The songs are simple, the production colorful – the way many songs by The Church had been years ago. “Not Back To Sad,” has a Beatlesque ’67 feel. A cheery upbeat devil-may-care melody that once was the trademark of other lesser-known bands such as Stackridge, The Korgis, Squeeze, Nick Lowe’s early solo LPs & maybe even Brinsley Schwartz’s early material. It all works on a pleasantry level. The music doesn’t challenge the mind as much as the senses. It’s whiskey with plenty of ginger ale & ice to make it palatable.
“Hold On To The Night,” skips along at a delightful pace. This is what commercial mainstream should sound like. It’s appealing without being lame, mindless & repetitive with lines that gnaw at the memory. The music has a sprightly Elvis Costello approach at times without his lyrical bite. It could fall into categories once occupied by Marshall Crenshaw, Ian Gomm & definitely the late Emit Rhodes.
Musicians – Joe Reyes (electric guitars), Richard Martin (electric piano/organ/Farfisa), Jason Garner (bass/keys/pizza box), John Dufilho (drums) & Paul Averitt (backing vocals).
Will every tune rock your world? No. But for the most part, it’s a nice introduction to their musical world — five cherry-covered chocolates with real cherries. No syrup.
Color image courtesy of Salim’s website. CD @ http://salimnourallah.com/