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Salt Petal Revisted – After all these (3) Years

February 20, 2015

Salt Petal

Salt Petal

PARIS – One of the satisfying – and essential – aspects of doing this mostly music blog is being able to talk about bands I have discovered, and sometimes having people present me with their music, or the music of bands they are representing, thinking that this blog would be a nice place to have it talked about. A few days ago, I received an email from a PR person involved in talking about a hot new Los Angeles band. Within a few seconds I had bells going off in my head, and I realized that this was a band that I had already heard, met and written about in the context of open mics in Paris: Salt Petal.

What a joy it was to see that this band that had so impressed me back in 2012 at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance (in its heyday) and when Salt Petal played at the Highlander, had continued to progress, to grow, and to turn into a band that is being hailed by publications across the U.S. – including Billboard, apparently – and is being played on MTV and has won a prize from an international panel of judges in the World Music Battle of the Bands.

The salty memories came back, I checked out my own blog, and found that I had been thoroughly impressed by the freshness and excitement of the two band members who came to Paris in 2012 – Autumn and Rodrigo – and had so enraptured the Ptit Bonheur and the Highlander. And so I checked out the video of the song that won that World Music prize, “Por la Luna.”

I compared it with the videos I had taken at the time, and said, yes, that’s the same two. Now it has turned into a collective with several musicians – and not just the two who were in Paris – and they have added different nationalities, expanding from American and Argentine to Japanese and others, and making a true collective of world music.

The PR reads well too: “Los Angeles is a city of diversity, a place of mixed cultures with a colorful tradition. Few bands better represent this than LA musical collective Salt Petal whose cross border musical influences of Argentinian folk, Brazilian tropicalia, Cumbia and up tempo indie rock blurs ethnic and musical boundaries. The band’s sound is one of the freshest to come out of Los Angeles, showcasing deep South American rhythms with vibrant indie pop harmonies and textures.

“Salt Petal has played high profile venues and festivals such as SXSW, Los Angeles Times’ Festival of Books and Make Music Pasadena. Performing alongside well-known artists including Lila Downs, Grimes, Hello Seahorse!, La Santa Cecilia, Dengue Fever, Las Cafeteras, members of Blondie and Jane’s Addiction. Their videos have been featured on MTV Tr3s and have been written up in Billboard etc.”

But ultimately, as I write these words, I listen to all of the tracks on Salt Petal’s SoundCloud, and it is beautiful stuff, combining the South American – Argentine and Brazilian – rhythms with a very clear American Indie sound, thanks in no small part to Autumn Harrison’s vocals.

They’re even calling it “Tropical Surf Rock.” What do I know? It’s very strange, but I actually find a tiny, tiny little touch of a sound that is similar to the American singer April March, who is known more in France than elsewhere (I think) for her modern version of French Yé Yé music. Is that what this is? An American interpretation of Tropicalia and other South American sounds? Updated? Give it a listen to see. May they pass through Paris again.

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