Aside from touring with and producing three consecutive albums for the Old 97’s (out of which came “rough-hewn beauty”, says lead-singer Rhett Miller), singer-songwriter and producer Salim Nourallah has met many other successes over the course of his musical career; his accolades include writing “Don’t Be Afraid” for HBO’s The Wire and a seven-year winning streak for BEST PRODUCER via the Dallas Observer Music Awards.
The New Record
Strip away the spectacle of a Dallas-based career musician, Nourallah above all else favors the tipping hat gestures of a word-smith not unlike the brand of word weavers for Western Romance novels. His way with words leaves us bewildered in solitude yet feeling irrevocably reborn with his band’s uplifting pop harmonies reminiscent of his love of albums like The Beatles’ White Album. With songs like “The Quitter” off 2012’s Hit Parade, we get the lighthearted sensibility of Ben Folds’ cheeky lyrics. Other times, we catch a glimpse of the songwriter’s depth inherent in Elliot Smith. On even grittier, tip-of-the heat-scale days we might hear the thirst-quenched conjuring spells characteristic of Tom Waits. “To The Desert” is one of those songs off the new album (sixth solo album) Skeleton Closet out on August 7th via Hit Records. “To The Desert” could easily fit in with the T-Bone Burnett line-up for HBO’s True Detectives with its hallucinogenic fruit, enticing us like a Mexican temptress with lines like “I will be the water for your thirst”. Is it a comment on sex- trafficking on the border, Sailm? “Permanent Holiday” bids an “artful word salad” similar to the lyrical stylings of indie-pop incumbent, Courtney Barnett. I recommend “Dead Man’s Stare” for its pop overtones and sunny disposition. Listen to the full album here. LP’s are available here!
Sunday July 19th, KXT 91.7 presented Wreckless Eric and Salim Nourallah live at The Kessler Theater in Dallas. The show introduced me to the man (Nourallah) my boyfriend told me picked his customer service line TWICE at Target and charmed him with the promises of his most celebrated album to date, Hit Parade (2012). Three years after that release and that unimaginable coincidence which had my boyfriend fanboying (twice), Salim Nourrallah has put forth his new lyrical gem, Skeleton Coast.
I had no idea what to expect from a man whose lyrics have consistently spoken for themselves, touting the most conservative of listeners with an ear towards blunt, sometimes curt candor and wit. His opener was the song I had been anticipating as the single upon first preview – “Dead Man’s Stare”. Admittedly, his stage presence made me fidget in my seat. The very verbose singer/songwriter in front of me was unquestionably a product of the 90s with his silver polyester suit, a graphic tee, high-top Converse, and a very Beckish mouthful of microphone. There was nothing covert about his operation; he was raw and admissibly awkward with his “obsolete technology”, the cassette tape, boom-box, and acoustic guitar, accompanying him instead of a back-up band. Yet, I recognized his outward eccentricities as a bold admittance of his restless creativity within.
Check out more upcoming tour dates here.