Acclaimed Australian singer songwriter Ben Salter is set to release his second album, The Stars My Destination on May 8 via ABC/Universal Music. The follow up to 2011’s debut The Cat, The Stars My Destination was recorded in the winter of 2014 at Prior Park, a working cattle station near Rockhampton in Central Queensland where Ben’s sister and her family live and where Ben did a lot of his growing up. Produced by Dan Luscombe (Paul Kelly, The Drones, Courtney Barnett), Craig Pilkington and Salter, the album also features former Gin Club band mates Adrian Stoyles and Gus Agars, as well as some special guests in the form of Liz Stringer, John Bedggood, Seja Vogel and Julien Wilson.
Many of the album’s tracks were drawn from a pool of over thirty demos recorded during Salter’s two visits to Europe in 2012 and 2013, where he undertook a range of musical collaborations in locations stretching from the sound of Italy to the north of Iceland. Some of these tracks were released on 2013’s European Vacation EP; the remainder form the bulk of The Stars My Destination.
The result is eleven tracks very much rooted in the melodic head-‐space of good pop music, but each with a somewhat unconventional sensibility. Songs like lead single ‘Boat Dreams’, all jagged electric guitars and thunderous drums, sit alongside more introspective pieces like ‘I Gotta Move’, with its slide guitar and stirring string fugue, the twisted jazz fusion of ‘Vile Rat’ (complete with blistering sax courtesy of Melbourne based virtuoso Julien Wilson), the haunting acoustic balladry of ‘Parrot Day’ and the epic Velvet Underground-‐esque space-‐rock of the title track ‘The Stars My Destination’, co-‐written with Australian artist and producer Aaron Cupples, who has previously collaborated with Dan Kelly, The Drones and Kirin J. Callinan.
“I firmly believe Ben Salter to be one of Australia’s best singers, and if I weren’t so god-‐damn competitive, one of its best songwriters as well.” -‐ Tim Rogers
“The title track is sort of what the rest of the album hangs around”, says Ben. “It’s probably one of my favourite songs of mine. Once I had that song it was just a matter of deciding what the other nine or ten on the album were going to be.”
Since the release of The Cat in 2011, Salter has been anything but idle. Not that you would expect any less from a man who has performed on over thirty albums and EPs and written over 200 songs in his fifteen year career in the Australian music industry, both solo and with bands Giants of Science, The Gin Club, The Young Liberals and The Wilson Pickers.
He toured extensively throughout Australia, first undertaking a band tour to support The Cat; then a solo house-‐ concert tour, playing in back yards and living rooms from Rockhampton to Fremantle; and after that just touring, endlessly, across Australia as well as New Zealand. He performed at the first two Dark Mofo festivals in Hobart, as well as the Port Fairy Folk Festival, Nannup Music Festival, and Brisbane’s Valley Fiesta, and toured with the likes of Something For Kate, Cat Power, Bernard Fanning, J. Mascis, Tex Perkins, Gareth Liddiard, and most recently, Counting Crows.
“I like to listen to an album and for it to be a bit of a journey, and hopefully we managed to achieve that (on The Stars My Destination). The thing I love about making music is that I can do whatever I want. Anything. The possibilities are almost completely endless, so I don’t know why anyone would stick to one style or band or whatever… I certainly can’t. I really love what I do; I love making music. So I just try and do it as much as I can.”
To celebrate the release of this stunning record, we’re giving readers the opportunity to score a copy of the LP on CD, enter your details below for a chance to win!
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