Ben Zaidi’s Highly Anticipated New Album “Acre of Salt” OUT TODAY
June 3, 2022 BY Jason Currell
Today, emerging artist and poet Ben Zaidi releases his highly anticipated debut studio album, Acre of Salt. Listen HERE and watch/share the official video for new album track “Listless” HERE.
“It was midnight on a cold Saturday night. We pulled into the tiny town of Forks, Washington,” Zaidi explains of the video. “We had been shooting since 4 AM that morning… Exhausted, we pulled into the unassuming Forks Motel, desperate to get a place for a place for a few hours rest before another full day of shooting. No vacancy. Stunned, we pulled up to another dingy looking motel. No vacancy. Again and again—all eight motels in this tiny town were inexplicably fully packed… As I climbed back in the car to begin a bleary-eyed two-hour drive to Port Angeles, I thought back to when Evers, the director of the ‘Listless’ music video, told me his concept—that we would get lost while making the video, and let life imitate art. I didn’t know it would be so literal.”
WATCH + SHARE “LISTLESS”
Acre of Salt was produced by Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Peter Gabriel, Beck,) who shares of his experience working with Ben, “With traces of the qualities I’ve always responded to—Phoebe Bridgers’ lyricism, Andrew Bird’s sneaky virtuosity, and Fiona Apple’s unpredictability—Ben gently turned my studio upside down with a point of view subversively his own.”
The album was recorded at Los Angeles’ iconic Sound City Studios along with backing band members Ethan Gruska, Sebastian Steinberg (Fiona Apple,) saxophonist Sam Gendel and Kane Ritchotte (Portugal. The Man.)
Ben has released a handful of songs leading up to the album release, including “Ben Zaidi’s Blues,” “Jerusalem,” “Only Forever,” “Scripture in the Sand,” “Going on Gone,” and “Younger with Time.”
Tonight, June 3, Ben will host an album listening party at Studio X in Seattle, and tomorrow, June 4, Easy Street Records will host an in-store performance and listening party.
Born and raised in Seattle, Zaidi is a Harvard-educated poet whose debut album explores a variety of themes: death, racial identity, quarter-life changes and the loss of innocence that comes with a rapidly decaying planet. Growing up with a lot of Northwest music influences, ultimately lyric-heavy albums such as Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ and The Freewheelin Bob Dylan, as well as Joni Mitchell’s Blue, were in heavy rotation while writing his new album.
Much of the record was influenced by a long drive down I-95 from Brooklyn to Florida to visit a friend who had been diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and going through chemo. “And that obviously was the first smack in the face of, ‘Oh, we’re not invincible anymore’ It’s not like, ‘Oh our whole life is ahead of us stretching out in front of us,’ but instead there is a certain frailty that this is all precariously balanced on. And I think the album’s grappling with that.”