Salt & Samovar
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Salt & Samovar

Band Rock Americana


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Village Voice record review"

Salt & Samovar's Old Joy, New Joy:
Bucolic Brooklynites craft odes to joy and unavoidable misery
by Buzz Poole
July 31st, 2007

You have to wonder what "Old Eden" looks like when you hear the Salt & Samovar tune's floppy Farfisa organ (à la the B-52s) as gospel-revival claps and tambourines raise the tent. This Eden must resemble America—the woods at least, or at least the woods of all those "manifest destiny" myths. The band itself lives in Brooklyn, however, albeit a bucolic Brooklyn, if only in their minds.
Old Joy is best absorbed on sun- baked patches of grass, kicking up puffs of dust that'd thoroughly coat the band's jaunty vests and heirloom suits. Built around David Moltz and Kelli Scarr (formerly of Boston's electronic-groove outfit Moonraker), S&S very much yank their tunes from the topsoil of Walt Whitman's dreams, with Moltz's earthy, elegiac vocals bolstered by his bandmates' three-part harmony. A caravan of American roots music, the record's reverence echoes joyfully in the trotting rhythm of "Soon to Be Dust" or the sing-along strumming of "What Can You Expect to Come?" But edged by Moltz's fierce guitar, foreboding sentiments lurk, mixing soothing traditional sounds with lyrics of contemporary angst, reminding listeners that "together we will break." Every song here is a testament to a collective endeavor that recognizes its history but remains all too aware of what the future can hold in store: "It's a sorrow to see how it's entrapp'd me/Sucha beautiful misery." Yeah, sounds like America. - Village Voice

"Broken Dial record review"

Like the whirling organs pulsing behind a gigantic church choir, our first introduction to Salt & Samovar (”Swallowed A Pill”) is a powerful statement, one of love and the pure, simple joy of creating music. Recorded this past winter during a prolonged cold spell in New York, metropolitan music has never sounded more optimistic in the face of harsh realities of city life. How a band that lives in the sometimes-oppressive confines of this tangled mess of wire and concrete could create an album touched with so many moments of elation is astounding. Most of what passes as “ground breaking” in this city isn’t all that different from any number of a million other bands that didn’t get the breaks necessary to make money as a touring band. Salt & Samovar are different; having played their very first show in France, they eventually settled in Brooklyn and have been gigging across the country since their return in late 2006.

Each copy of Old Joy, New Joy is one-of-a-kind; their packaging is hand-screened and comes with a 16-page booklet of liner notes with lyric, music and illustrations designed by the band. The pacing and structure of this record makes it the perfect soundtrack by which one should set the cruise control and head for the Adirondacks on a brisk Autumn morning. Much of the epic feel of this album involves a subtle balancing act, as if the two seemingly dissimilar parts meet halfway across a bridge in the middle of the night and high above over the muddy waters below, they quietly walk home. On “Swallowed A Pill,” the gentle sprinkling of piano balances against the sharp strings. “We Will Break” features the simple beauty of muted bass and vocal chants. The band’s stand out moments should define the album and the rich, full-textured sound will stay with anyone who spends time with the album for a long time after the first listen.

Featuring songs that speak volumes about nothing and everything all at once, they come around very rarely, and it shows a breadth of skill and massive amount of passion to create the kind of music that moves someone to the very depths of their soul. Old Joy, New Joy is a new type of album, equal parts precision, thunder, faith healings and jam-rock for people who don’t like jam-rock. Too many bands try to do too much in a first effort to not only impress, but to leave the listener with something to walk away with and rave about before their next listen. Salt & Samovar want to put their best foot forward and more often than not Old Joy, New Joy slides along like at the deliberate pace that they set, establishing them as an act to be remembered. - smith

"Nic Harcourt's Top 10 Albums of 2007"

Nic's infamous daily morning show "Morning Becomes Eclectic" on LA's NPR station KCRW is renowned for giving up and comer indie bands a shot, and sometimes catapulting them to mainstream status.

Here is a list of Nic's top ten for 2007:

1) Jesca Hoop - Kismet (Columbia)

2) Ting Tings - Demos (Self-Released)

3) Salt & Samovar - Old Joy, New Joy (Self-Released)

4) Radiohead - In Rainbows (

5) Aqualung - Memory Man (Columbia)

6) Seawolf - Leaves In the River (Dangerbird Records)

7) Great Northern - Trading Twilight for Daylight (Eenie Meenie)

8) LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver (EMI)

9) Federico Aubele - Panamericana (ESL)

10) Once - Original Soundtrack -

"S&S & Brooklyn indie scene"

Despite the universally acknowledged differences between city dwellers and country folk, there is a movement brewing that might just help to bridge that gap. It is a movement that seems to be coming in from two different sides toward a mutually recognized center. Whether that meeting proves to be harmonious or cacophonous remains to be seen. In order to make any kind of educated guess though, we need to take a closer look at both factions.

On the one side we have rural youth becoming increasingly fascinated with urban culture. This has actually been going on for a while, and we mostly have MTV to thank for it. Countless rap videos and witless reality shows have brought images of black and brown people streaming into the living rooms of kids who would otherwise have lived a lily white existence. Now whether or not you think Lil’ Jon or Flavor Of Love are suitable ambassadors of African-American culture is an argument for another day. The fact remains that millions of goofy little cracker children are being entertained by and, as a result looking up to, people of color. In a country where some still fly the confederate flag and others can’t fathom electing a black president, this is a huge step forward. It would appear that a little bit of urban culture is doing more for backwoods race relations than any amount of schooling ever could.

On the other side we have all these hipster kids in Brooklyn. It’s hard to say what their motive is, but for whatever reason many of them are getting into country and bluegrass music. Is it an attempt to colonize a scene that hasn’t yet been blown open by a hipster bomb? Or is it just that flannel clothing is often the cheapest, most abundant stuff at the thrift store? Dunno. Maybe we should ask O’Death or Langhorne Slim.

Better yet, let’s ask Salt & Samovar. They’ve crafted a swampy indie country sound that is perhaps better than any other. This can largely be attributed to the equal parts hipster sensibility and low country twang they put into their music. It’s country, but not too country. It’s hip, but not so hip that it hurts. Their record “Old Joy, New Joy” would be equally at home on the back porch in the Ozarks or a rooftop in DUMBO.

Sooner or later this whole thing will come full circle, sides will meet and the melting pot stew will finally be ready to serve. Until then, let’s think of funny names for this newish musical movement. How about Cosmo Country? Or Brooklyn Bluegrass? Blogger Blues? Yeah…I got nothin.


"SXSW showcase review"

It's a lot of fun to be be attending SXSW in a non-major label A&R capacity. It used to be that I'd have to attend some sort of "buzz show," which would usually consist of some pretty awful band. I don't have to do that anymore.

The unquestionable highlight for me last night was Salt & Samovar's set at Buffalo Billiards as part of the KCRW showcase. Passionate, intelligent and occasionally explosive rock that felt like an unholy mix of 60's garage punk as played by a group that wrote their dissertations on Tolstoy while listening to Music From Big Pink, band was undeniably great. David Moltz's lead guitar was very impressive; both jagged and highly melodic and the bands vocals and harmonies were stellar. The Brooklyn based band is definitely a one to watch and is deserving of the considerable amount of attention they're garnering. -

"review of single "Swallowed A Pill""

I want to say a few words about a Brooklyn band I’ve recently discovered called Salt & Samovar. They have a newish self-produced record out aptly titled “Old Joy, New Joy,” and I suppose if pressed we could agree to call it a study in gospel-revival psych-garage honky-tonk swing. Yes, that’ll do. Lots of hand clapping, foot stomping, piano tinkling, lovely full-throated boy-girl vocal harmonies and even some face-melting axework from lead singer/guitarist D.S. Moltz.

But the extra ingredient is love. Each copy of the record is handcrafted by the band and contains a 16-page “hymnal” containing sheet music and lyrics. On album opener “Swallowed A Pill,” Moltz sings without inhibition of the melodies that ensnared him and that have inhabited his dreams from the cradle.

It’s A Sorrow To See
How It’s Entrapped Me
Such A Beautiful

Perhaps I’m a gross sentimentalist, but this inspires me. I want to be IN this band. Oh! And for what it’s worth, my wife may be an even bigger fan than I. So you see, Salt & Samovar literally brings families closer together. Is there anything they can’t do? -


Old Joy, New Joy - 2007
we have been played on KCRW (also played live on Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2007. We are returning May 16th, 2008!). WDST WFUV WERS & Sirius radio.



S&S is a family of old friends. Some people are cousins. They have been playing "foot-stomping psyche garage" for years. They care more about songcraft than style, but recognize the importance of both. KCRW's Nic Harcourt gave their debut album "Old Joy, New Joy" 3rd place in "best albums of 2007."