Australian singer-songwriter Ben Salter is bringing compositions from his new album to the Waitaki Arts Festival.
Salter is the second act in the line-up for the inaugural festival, playing in the Grainstore Gallery on Friday, September 22.
He is touring New Zealand for the fourth time in three years, having previously been accompanied by Dominic Hoey (aka Tourettes) in 2105 and Dan Kelly in 2016. This time he is on his own, performing without a band.
That leads neatly to the title of his third album, Back Yourself. It includes the song End of Days, co-written with Kiwi musician and friend Marlon Williams in a hillside house in Lyttelton.
Salter, who is originally from Queensland, recorded the album in his new home of Tasmania during the past year. It was released today, its publicity describing it as “another eclectic collection of songs ranging from acoustic ballads to prog-metal workouts”.
The subject matter traverses love, dreams, Armageddon, video games, the sea and stars, myth and science, and the nature of reality.
During 20 years as a mainstay of the Australian music scene, Salter has played in bands The Wilson Pickers, The Gin Club and Giants of Science, worked with The Young Liberals, Megafauna, Anigozanthos, Immaculate CV and Hownowmer, and collaborated with the likes of Tim Rogers from You Am I and Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger.
He has also toured Europe and Britain several times, and in the past 12 months has played more than 150 shows in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii and Mexico. His appearance at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria was sold out.
Salter’s live gigs are acclaimed as “unforgettable”, coupling his “remarkable voice” with “his unique brand of esoteric existential antipodean indie-folk”.