Friday, February 12, 2016

Listen: Salt Cathedral - "No Ordinary Man"

It's been awhile since we've heard anything from Brooklyn via Colombia duo Julia Ronderos and Nicolas Losada of Salt Cathedral. Back in 2014, the duo rang in the year with b-side "Rainy Days" that both ushered in their shift from the rhythmically complex, experimental rock pop left over from their days as il abanico, introducing the newly pared down lineup, as well as wetting fans appetites for a brand new EP of songs they release later that year.

Which more or less bring us to now. Salt Cathedral have mainly stuck to playing shows since the release of their OOM VELT EP with very little promised in the way of new music. Until earlier this year when they announced a brand new song would be coming. "No Ordinary Man", the latest single from Salt Cathedral pretty much follows directly after pretty much any of the OOM VELT cuts in terms of production. But unlike the infectious, skittering "Tease", "No Ordinary Man" instead pulls both from the balladry and minimalism of "Holy Soul" and "Good Winds". Ronderos' emotive vocals has been the one constant through Salt Cathedral's various incarnations and they're rightfully spotlighted on the new track. Simplicity is the name of the game as the textural layering is kept to an absolute minimum, providing a harmonic bed of synths for Ronderos' vocals to soar over. That's not to say the band don't make the most of their newfound electronic leanings. Their touch is impressive light - going from lilting big drum beats to a quicker shuffling figures and subtle glitch effects in gradual shifts that doesn't draw attention from the vocal melodies.

"No Ordinary Man" is another pitch-perfect example of Salt Cathedral being able to embody the best aspects of electronic music in a way that's beyond simple copycatting. The band aims more at creating resonating musical moments than electronic grandstanding which helps root their genre shifts in sincerity and not just an attempt at trend chasing. Salt Cathedral has always excelled in balladry but here's hoping the ability to create interesting moments from simple arrangements follows continues past "No Ordinary Man" as the band hopefully release more new music this year.

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