Tinderbox’s debut single is an incredibly moody ambient folk piece that is a bold move for a first outing.
Leaning hard into the ambient influence, Salt is almost wholly comprised of echoing guitars, gently drum thumps and mysterious vibes throughout. It’s a tricky song to break down, purely due to how it overlaps it’s multiple vocal deliveries. Combined with the thick layering of instrumentals over the top just adds to the mystique of it.
The overall feeling the song gives is this ambience of being in a wide open space, or submerged in water. Slowly sinking into a more and more intense blend of sound as the song progresses. The issue comes towards the closing third of the song, where very little of each musical component can be distinguished from the others. With the vocals blending into a choir of voices that are impossible to understand. Whilst effective from a stylistic point of view, the lyrics in the rest of the song are hard to decipher as is.
Tinderbox as a collective have described Salt as a song about, “The consequences of following the rules in the context of people’s relationships with their family, friends, and loved ones.” But it becomes hard to actually get the message across when everything is difficult to hear against the ambience.
Whilst fantastic in its overall mood setting and delivery of a great mysterious beast of a song. It also leans a little too hard into it, to the point of trying to explore a larger meaning in a song where meaning is near impossible to extract. It’s no slight on the fantastic vocal performance, in particular the tragic melancholic performance of guest vocalist Alice Simmons.