COLUMN: From the Street Salad servings are not heavy going

UPPERMILL record shop owner Brett Savage has penned the first of a new series of musical profiles for the Independent.

Here, for starters, Brett from Inner Space Records serves up a helping of Salad.

At Inner Space, we pride ourselves on picking up on the promising signals emerging from the new musicians over on this side of the galaxy.

Cult Casual, last year’s album by Heavy Salad (some of whom reside in this fair village), certainly made a lot of people sit up and pay attention with its sheer vision and chutzpah.

Heavy salad

Not least, it caught the ear of legendary music producer Stephen Street. Check through the production credits of albums by The Smiths, Blur, Courteeners or any number of indie giants and you will see that Mr Street was sat behind the mixing desk on them.

It’s easy to see what appealed to him about Heavy Salad. Released on upstart UK label – Dipped In Gold – Cult Casual mixed whip-smart, off kilter grungy indie guitar rock reminiscent of Pavement and the aforementioned Blur with lush gospel arrangements (courtesy of accompanying vocal trio, The Priestesses) that recalls the expansive breadth of both Spiritualized and Flaming Lips.

It’s fair to say it was certainly one heck of an opening statement for any band. As the band are currently recording the new album, Heavy Salad’s guitar wizard Rob Glennie from Greenfield reveals how they managed to rope in Stephen Street.

“We called out to the cosmos and sent Stephen a copy of Cult Casual,” he said. “He immediately replied asking what our plans were for the next album.

“We got to work straight away and recorded five demos of songs that we had been working on remotely during lockdown.”

Receiving this news while on the motorway was almost too much for Rob. “It is dangerous driving conditions finding out your dream producer wants to work with you,” he added.

Teaming up with Cristoph Bride who co-produced Cult Casual (alongside Ross Orton), work has begun in earnest on Heavy Salad’s sophomore album as they have decamped to London to start on the sessions.

So, what is it like working with such a legendary producer? “It’s pure magic… he’s like a production Jedi,” laughed Rob.

“He has lots of amazing ideas and leaves no stone left unturned. He really gets us!

No doubt with a heavyweight producer at the helm, we will hear an expanded sonic palette for the second album, which is quite an exciting prospect given the scope of their debut.

“It feels like we are exploring lots of different places that we didn’t go to on Cult Casual. It’s probably going to be a lot more sprawling than the first.”

Rob tells us to expect ‘Scary Monsters, Human League, Tropical, Disco, West-Coast vibes… it goes all over the place’.

And after the tape has stopped rolling, what’s next for Heavy Salad? ‘We’ve just recorded a performance for Sky TV, so keep your eyes peeled for that… and we are going to hit the road in September for a UK tour’. Lots to look forward to, then.

Keep your antennae up!

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