Poet & Artist Ben Zaidi Shares Intimate New Single “Scripture In The Sand”
February 25, 2022 BY Claire Julian
Today, artist Ben Zaidi will share his new single, “Scripture In The Sand.” from his upcoming debut album, Acre of Salt (out June 3, 2022. Pre-order HERE). The heartbreaking intimate track tells a whispered story laced with hazy memories of youth balanced by the harsh reality of mortality.
Ben explains, “Every Spring when I was in college, my four friends and I would drive down the coast from Boston to Florida. We snuck into Manhattan parties, we ate mushrooms on the beach, we swam naked under the stars. These voyages were the picture of youth, the height of irreverence. And then, only a few years later, I found myself returning to Florida for very different reasons. First, for the death of my grandfather, whose house I had to clear out desperately as the bank foreclosed on it. Then, for my close friend’s cancer treatment. Driving up and down the same I-95, it was surreal that this same place could be so bright with invincible youth, and now so darkened by looming mortality. The wind shifts in an instant.”
WATCH + SHARE “SCRIPTURE IN THE SAND.”
Acre of Salt was produced by Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Peter Gabriel, Beck) and recorded at Los Angeles’ Sound City Studios along with backing band members Ethan Gruska, Sebastian Steinberg (Fiona Apple,) saxophonist Sam Gendel and Kane Ritchotte (Portugal. The Man.)
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.”