Aug 2, 2019
“Flash in the pan” style genres are a distinctly modern creation. Once born from message boards and chatrooms, they’re chucked into existence on social media and furiously lapped up by the music press. Every magazine, website, blog, podcast and channel is keen to shape the tastes of thousands, and embracing such fanciful “microgenres” can reap immense short term benefits for any outlet that appears to be on the zeitgeist.
And sometimes, just occasionally, these things crossover into the mainstream. That was the case with Salem, a “witch house” band from Chicago and Traverse City. Despite having existed before the short lived, two year mini-boom that was witch house, they ended up being at the forefront of it. After this album was released the promptly vanished, and have yet to do a single thing since their final 2011 EP I Am Still the Night.
After our discussion of “cool” in the Sonic Youth episode, Weaver was keen to see if albums which come from "cool” genres stand the test of time, and as a result he ended up chosing King Night, the debut album from Salem.
A mixture of southern hip hop, sparse electronica and drum and bass, the band were lumped in with a bunch of other improbably named acts all of whom were beholden to a occutly, 80s horror film, gothic aesthetic.
Chris was surprised by this album, as was Weaver. Micro genres very much capture a place and time, but does this place and time deserve a place in our discography? Vote below.