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SALt – Fairytale on Fire
Release Date (Digital Version): December 3, 2022
Release Date (Vinyl Version): May 13, 2022
Label: Sunnyleith HX
Format: Album | Vinyl/Digital
Duration (Digital Version): 55:43 | 15 tracks
Duration (Vinyl Version): 42:14 | 11 tracks
Genre: Post Punk Pop / New Wave
Origin: Edinburgh, Scotland
Dealing with Space and Time
The dates presented in the header section may cause some confusion. The album „Fairytale on Fire“ was originally released as a vinyl-only longplayer via Sunnyleith HX on May 13, 2022. You may also find sources that name May 16th the original release date, but that is besides the point. When Edinburgh’s quartet SALt finalized this album, they had to make difficult decisions: which songs will be featured on the album and which have to be sorted out?
The confined space that is given by the medium vinyl was one of the main reasons for that. Four of the tracks that have not made it to the original physical longplayer are now featured as bonus tracks on the digital release of „Fairytale on Fire“. The larger version of the Scottish band’s latest release was out on December 03, 2022 (or December 10th, according to other sources). This is a fantastic occasion to re-visit this great album and put extra focus on the four bonus tracks.
Post Punk Pop and Tunes from the Heart
The first eleven tracks are hence the ones that the listeners already know from the 12“ version of „Fairytale on Fire“, aren’t they? Well, basically yes, but SALt used the opportunity to give these tracks a little digital remaster, and some were even remixed for the re-release. Apart from that, the first 42 minutes are still the stunning Post Punk Pop sound created by James King (drums and keys), Simon Kettles (bass), Robin Woods (guitars) and Sharon Woods (vocals and lyrics). Guest musician Sal Bernardi contributed some tunes on the mouth harp to ‚Cold White Hand‘ and ‚Dust‘. Regardless of the version, the album is a collection of stories that took place in the world of band leader Sharon Woods. The vocalist reaches her hand out to the audience and invites them on a journey.
It is an emotional journey that SALt have set to music, and since it contains plenty of stories rooted in real life, it is not always a comfortable story line. Nevertheless, Sharon Woods does not mince her words – and honestly why should she? – when writing directly from the heart. By listening to SALt’s „Fairytale on Fire“ you can thus re-experience every day situations with the band’s singer. And just like in our own lives, there are sunny days, shady days, rainy days.
Love and Anger, Relaxation and Rebellion
And since the content of „Fairytale on Fire“ is as diverse as life itself, so is the music. The two major columns are nevertheless Post Punk and New Wave on the one hand, and Pop Punk and Indie Rock on the other hand. Between laidback Shoegaze tunes like the title track, the atmospheric off-beat Indie tune ‚Suffocate‘ and the dynamic Garage Rock hymn ‚Broken Toys‘ there is some magic glue that hold these different sound together. It is the distinctive SALt sound that connects these independent little stories and thus forms an album out of them.
The bonus tracks make no difference here, and it is therefore comprehensible why it was not easy for SALt to rule out songs from the vinyl version. The bonus track section begins with the sad New Wave ballad ‚Demons‘. Next up is the literally super sweet Garage Rock dance and empowerment anthem ‚Candyfloss‘. SALt remind us that there is more than just sadness and dance in this world with the angry song ‚I Hate You All‘, and last but not least, the album ends with the song ‚James Bond‘. The final track is a truly cinematic and Post Punk Pop anthem that can easily animate the listeners to hit the REPEAT button (if they have not done so before).
„Fairytale of Fire“ is an awesome album, and adding the four tracks only emphasized this truth. SALt are honest, down to Earth, and they know how to present a story with music. This album is a match for fans of The Cranberries, No Doubt, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, BSÍ or Get Jealous.