Mal Blum is releasing a new album, Pity Boy, next month. The New York-based musician has shared two tracks from it already, “Things Still Left To Say” and “ I Don’t Want To,” and today they’re sharing a third, “Salt Flats.” This one starts off patient and slow, feeling just as arid and desolate as the Utah landmark its named after.
But all that deadened tension explodes into a transcendent moment of fury and disappointment at its end. “Now you’ve got salt in your hair/ I’ve got salt on my face,” Blum sings in one of the song’s many evocative portraits. “You rub salt in my wounds/ Then you lick it away.
In the song’s video, Blum and the rest of the band fix up a motorcycle that they then ride through a rocky desert landscape, all done in charmingly low-budget miniature. The video was directed by Frances Beaver, who had this to say about it:
[Making the video], I went along with the metaphor in Mal’s lyrics. I loved that salt could be a remnant of emotionally bruising words and also a seasoning to make the person feel better about having said them; that the Salt Flats (the geological phenomenon) could be a place where one could stay for eternity in the comfort of those bruising words. The story of a racer who can’t stop coming back to the Flats to break records — even though it’s dangerous for them — came along naturally since the Salt Flats are famous for high speed ground records.
Listen and watch below.
07/19 New York, NY @ Rough Trade
07/20 Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
07/21 Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
07/22 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
07/23 New Haven, CT @ State House
07/24 Portland, ME @ The Apohadion Theater
08/12 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s Locker Room
08/13 Pittsburg, PA @ Funhouse at Mr/ Smalls
08/14 Columbus, OH @ Big Room Bar
08/15 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
08/17 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
08/19 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
08/21 Vancouver, BC @ KW Studios
08/22 Seattle, WA @ Vera Gallery
08/23 Portland, OR @ Paris Theatre
08/25 San Francsico, CA @ Thee Parkside
08/26 Los Angeles, CA @ Hi Hat
08/27 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
08/28 Phoenix, AZ @ Lunchbox
08/30 Austin, TX @ Mohawk
08/31 Denton, TX @ Backyard at Bell
09/2 Birmingham, AL @ Firehouse
09/3 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
09/4 Durham, NC @ Pinhook
Pity Boy is out 7/12 via Don Giovanni Records.