The band Salem was founded in Salem, Massachusetts in the mid-2000s. Led by highly creative and talented frontwoman Heather Gabel and guitarist John Holland, Salem have built a long legacy as one of the most innovative and unique bands of their time.
Salem began as an experimental electronic music project in 2004, when Gabel and Holland joined forces to create something â€œneither of them had ever heard beforeâ€. Within months, the duo began to make their live debut, amassing an eager and dedicated fan base along the way. By 2006, word had spread far enough that Gabel and Holland were able to release their first demo album, â€œCurse,â€ which showcased their focus on warped dream pop and noise/drone-style music.
The band released several EPs in the following years, and by 2009, they completed their first full-length album, â€œKing Nightâ€. Released on Iamsound Records, the album is considered to be Salemâ€™s most successful effort, and critics singled out its dark and eerie blend of sounds. The album put Salem firmly on the music map, and they began to draw comparisons to other ground-breaking music groups such as Animal Collective, Death Grips, and Beak>.
In 2011, Salem released their second album, â€œIana,â€ which featured a shift in musical approach and dark psychedelic themes. The band also released a number of other EPs, and their 2011 tour of Europe saw them play to critical acclaim. By 2013, Salem had become a renowned live act around the globe, and they were invited to tour with prominent electronic artists such as The Knife and Zola Jesus.
In 2014 Salem released â€œStrength In Numbersâ€, an album that pushed sonic boundaries even further and showcased the duoâ€™s continued use of soundscapes and dream pop elements. The album was supported by a worldwide tour, and featured a number of festival and showcase performances.
The same year, Salem released â€œStrides,â€ a collection of singles and outtakes from their two prior releases. In 2016, the band celebrated their 10th anniversary with the release of â€œCarpe Noctem,â€ a six-track EP of dark music rooted in noise, drone and ethereal soundscapes.
Salem released their fourth studio album, â€œVEXâ€ in 2019, a release that saw them push their sound to new heights and incorporate a greater range of instrumentation into their music. The band followed up this release with a final album, â€œFallow,â€ in 2020.
Heather Gabel and John Hollandâ€™s offbeat take on pop and electronica has seen them make waves all over the world over the years, and their commitment to exploring new sounds and concepts have seen them become one of the most inspiring and vital bands of their time. Salem remain a ground-breaking act and continue to blaze a path which many dream pop, noise and experimental artists follow in their footsteps.