Brooklyn-based Joseph Sant is set to release his debut EP, Sea White Salt, shortly after 2015 comes to a close. In the four-song album, the singer-songwriter seeks to juxtapose New York coastlines against the perils that are insidiously working against them – namely climate change and “wolfish markets.” Sea White Salt cannot be truly appreciated, though, without considering the context of Sant’s native Seattle. Sant imbues the jagged shores of Brooklyn with the foggy seascapes of his pacific northwest, yielding an unsettling quietude to the crises that are raging against our world.
Sant created Sea White Salt with longtime friend and producer, Gabriel Galvin, and the duo collaborated with two other frequent associates – Stirling Krusing (lap steel) and Tyler Graham (drums) – to realize Sant’s languid compositions. The musician's bio states that he writes using “angular shapes, the noise of subway brakes, off-kilter grids, and the encroaching sea.” Nothing on Sea White Salt is quite so harsh as ‘the noise of subway brakes,’ but there’s a nice off-kilter character to both the sparse instrumentation and the ethereal blankets of sound that are woven into his sonic grids.
To create those grids, Sant melds his tremulous, breathy vocal with warm guitars, producing a folk-driven shoegaze a la Patrick Watson. The EP's title track is especially evocative of the Canadian musician, as Sant adds whistles and irregular ornaments to the glossy tones of the piece. For those that know Watson’s “Adventures in Your Own Backyard,” you’ll notice a familiar whimsy within the songwriting, as well as a driftless War on Drugs energy capable of carrying you off onto those adventures with ease – a nice first effort for the budding musician.