Witch house duo Salem have returned with their first studio album in over a decade, Fires in Heaven.
Dreamy electronic melancholia is rife throughout the record, whether it’s underpinning the dramatic “Capulets” or intertwined within the ambient soundscape of “Starfall.” There is a dark undercurrent to Salem’s new album, their first since their 2010 debut King Night.
In an interview with the New York Times, Salem—consisting of Jack Donoghue and John Holland—revealed that they moved south to stay at an old fishing camp so they could work on their new album. But their retreat ultimately failed to result in a complete album, and Fires in Heaven may never have been produced if producer Shlohmo hadn’t reached out and helped the duo.
“We deeply care, and are deeply invested, but only in our own rules,” Holland told the NYT of their commitment to the Salem project. “If there’s no one that wants to listen to it, we’ll still make music together,” Donoghue agreed. “I mean, we made music for ten years without sharing it.”
Salem’s King Night became a landmark release of the electronic music microgenre of witch house, which though mocked at the time, later proved quietly influential. The duo shied away from major releases under the Salem banner after 2010, putting out only an EP, mixtapes and remixes.
Welcome Salem back into the fold and stream Fires in Heaven here: