Atlas B Salvesen – Smoke Signals EP

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing of Alastair Cairns AKA Atlas B Salvesen since the very first happy show in 2010. Since then he’s gone on to sign a deal with Monday Records, produce and release his hauntingly beautiful Smoke Signals EP, and put together a band for a much fuller live performance. Recently, I’ve been spinning Smoke Signals again and to me, its a record I don’t tire of.

atlas b salvesen

We recently rediscovered a classic from last year – Atlas B Salvesen’s emotional debut EP Smoke Signals.

American singer/songwriter Alastair Cairns AKA Atlas B Salvesen, who to our great pleasure is now calling Sydney home, did not grow up in a musical environment. It was his philosophical and poetic disposition that allowed him to craft his beautiful and cathartic debut EP, Smoke Signals. The nostalgia made possible by the experimental embedding of digital stories using vintage recording equipment succeeds in enhancing a very poignant experience.

Atlas B Salvesen’s raspy and expressive vocals in Faith Will Leave You, celebrates his gravitas as a musician. Smooth cascading guitar rhythms, tied in with the elegant touch of piano and soft rock instrumentals, arouses warmth in the musical atmosphere.

It was a 48-hour bender which inspired a very somber and reflective Fruit Juice. Don’t be mislead by the eloquently paradoxical name, because it touches on some very powerful emotions. It’s Atlas B Salvesen’s more soft and gentle vocals that help caress away the pain. Be swayed by the rocking melodies, with glimpses of delicate chimes bringing out hope in an otherwise dark state of mind.

The sound of a cinematic tape recorder churning in the background, is reminiscent of a lonesome and sentimental film unraveling before our very ears.

Stage Lights at Angel Place is another melancholic illustration of Atlas B Salvesen’s fluttery sound and compelling lyrics. The fragmented echo of a voice message machine, accentuates the song’s veracity, as it plays a key role in setting up the context of the story. Atlas B Salvesen’s sincere vocals reinvigorate his strength to push through all life ‘s obstacles thrown at him.

The existential power ballad, Smoke Signals Retire, is nothing but a hauntingly intense and grand conclusion to the ongoing battle, but it sadly results in what sounds like a devastating defeat. However it goes without saying the biggest victor here is Atlas B Salvesen’s musical craftsmanship, giving a timelessness and eternity to his songs. Seeking continual inspiration from the likes of Bright Eyes, Wilco, and Okkervil River, Atlas B Salvesen proves himself deserving of a place up in their ranks.

Check out our interview with the man himself a couple years back.



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