Grand Salvo

Mistletone is proud to present Sea Glass, the eagerly awaited new album from esteemed Melbourne artist Grand Salvo. Pre-order Sea Glass on vinyl or CD here. Release date: November 2.

  • “One of my favourite musicians. I’ve loved Grand Salvo since he first began. I used to go to every single one of his shows when I lived in Melbourne, sitting on the floor at the Corner Hotel, and over many records, he has just completely taken us into another realm. He’s not only a great songwriter, but often thematically takes us into all kinds of worlds. There’s a very textural quality to what he does, he’s explored death, and on this new album Sea Glass, he’s focusing on the idea that a single, vivid memory can shape who we are” – ZAN ROWE, DOUBLE J

“In the water”, the first excerpt from Sea Glass is a baroque-folk rumination on memory, loss, the passing of time and death: “Oh say you love me before I go / will you remember me when I’m gone”. Someone walks slowly along the beach, though it soon becomes apparent that this is a beach of dreams, where everything is allegory and symbol. “I wander slowly along the shore / the tide is high and the sun is low”; a childlike attempt to articulate the endless flow of time.

Paddy Mann has made six albums under the Grand Salvo moniker: (1642-1727), River Road in 2002, Temporal Wheel in 2005, Death in 2008, Soil Creatures in 2009 and Slay Me In My Sleep in 2012. His songs can be both sparse and heavily orchestrated, with each album focused on a particular idea or theme. Death was a story-book affair, with narration and intricate programmatic arrangements; Slay Me In My Sleep, an ambitious narrative-based song cycle co-produced with Nils Frahm, was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. All Grand Salvo’s albums have received lavish critical acclaim, winning Album of the Week on RRR (twice), Radio National, PBS, RTR and 4ZZZ.

Sea Glass is Grand Salvo’s seventh album, and his Mistletone debut. This richly allegorical album explores how a single, vivid memory can shape who we are; resurfacing and altering our thoughts and recollections as the years go by. The album’s very structure is an approximation of how such a memory is forged; each song radiates out from a seed memory which unfolds like a lotus jewel in Field of Flowers, the second-last song and the only “straight” narrative song of this remarkable album. The album then closes with Standing On The Sea, a dreamlike journey on the beach that uncovers “a shard of sand smoothed emerald glass / and a change in the light”, layering the dreams of childhood and the memories of adulthood into a woozy contemplation of eternity and the cyclic, ever evolving nature of memory.

Sea Glass was recorded using a number of non-western instruments including qanun (Persian dulcimer), kora (African harp), koto (Japanese stringed instrument) and Indian percussion, with a heady female chorus (Laura Jean, Lisa Salvo, Hannah Cameron, Michelle Surowiec) reprised throughout the album, woven through the narrative like a recurring dream.

Grand Salvo has performed throughout Australia and internationally, making appearances in London, New York, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and throughout Japan. He has shared stages with artists such as Fleet Foxes, Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan and Sharon Van Etten, and has produced and arranged live shows with up to 25 musicians at Melba Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre and The Arts Centre Victoria. His collaborations include Daughters Fever (2015) with Peter Knight, Curious Animals (2016) with baroque violinist Lizzy Welsh and Tamara Saulwick’s Helpmann award-nominated theatrical work Endings (2015).