the salt seal isthmus

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a follow-on project from A Pocket Full of Seeds



Blonde Wolf

Release: If I Were You

This is a song about change, or more accurately the resistance we have as human beings to it. Whatever our particular addiction may be, it will always cause us and others misery. In my experience, it takes getting to the bottom to see the situation clearly for what it is. This moment of clarity is what I needed in my life to make a change, although it wasn’t the first bottom I’m to give credit to.

Philip Whitehead

Release: A Little Bit Real

A spot of rain hits your face on a dry day and it shouldn’t feel like much, but it does. There’s something about the way it slaps your skin. So cold and unexpected, its long unattached finger reaching out from the great beyond and tickling you dead. It’s a moment in which your world collides with the one coming up ahead and nothing quite computes until everything’s over and you’re left standing there with a wet cheek and nobody to understand what’s going on with you. Not even your mother.

We all have a habit of forgetting these moments. Every once in a while we take the long way home on a sunny day and stop to look up at the birds, but then we get home and we switch on the TV to look at someone else’s reality instead of our own. It’s not hard to understand why. If we didn’t, would we ever get anything done? Or would we just stare, open-mouthed at everything going by, like a baby on a bus? Perhaps we would run our hands along the ground as we walked, feeling each bump in the tarmac. We’d lie down and cry under our desks for no reason and only come out when we got distracted.

If you’re lucky, your face might fall upon a raindrop someday.

Kashena Sampson

Release: Wild Heart

I bartended my ass off to make this record. I paid for everything with cash! Ha! I moved to Nashville without ever being here, didn't know anyone. I just had a feeling it was where I needed to be and I went with it. I had to make this record. It's been 4 years in the making. Some friends mentioned the bomb shelter to me so I met up with Andrija and checked it out. The studio is just awesome. He put me together with Jon Estes who worked with me on the album, producing and mixing. It was a perfect fit. Like magic! He understood what I was going for right from the start. We tracked all the songs in 2 days to tape with Jon Radford on drums and Jeremy Fetzer on guitar and Jon Estes on bass, and a bunch of other instruments! The whole record was recorded in 6 days total. It was great. I wish I could record at that studio everyday!

Ralph Waldo

Release: Norman

It had been almost five hours since he'd last picked up the blue light, and by now the weight of its gone-ness had cast a pall over what had promised to be a good day. Afraid of what he'd see, the negative space in his right hand had gone unnoticed for the first 3 and 1/2 hours he was supposed to be at work. He was supposed to show at 5, but yesterday, he had overheard his manager tell Danny to sharpen a mop handle at both ends... whatever this meant for his "gourdo" namesake, he didn't want to know. To this point he had worn the pumpkin as a badge of honor. After all, his great great great great grandfather had been a stowaway sprout on the mayflower, and his son had in turn grown to be a patch of ivy on the side of a rather imposing brick building at the heart of the city, which surely must have housed a lawyer or doctor. It had even been told, perhaps by some loose lipped airborne seeds, that the Ivy's beauty was renowned as far as the next town over.

But he was just a stock boy at the local Ralph Waldo's supermarket. A stock boy in the throes of an intimate relationship with smoke breaks that his coworkers had deemed "toxic." Sometimes he liked to watch the smoke tendril upwards and imagine electric eels in some sub aquatic cavern peeking out and wanting to play sing or sting. Other times he felt it took everything in his being to keep from vomiting those eels onto the freshly mopped aisles he spent most of his weeknights in. Not this weeknight though. This particular night, Norman stayed in bed and let the pumpkin be all there was. And whatever mufflings he heard going on outside his new world must have been asteroids or space birds, he told himself.

Olds Sleeper

Release: small towns ; big lives

I grew up in a small town-- not a single red light for miles ; a few stop signs and lots of cornfields and dirt roads, small rivers and places to get away. That place shaped my world—on back country roads at night, driving under moonlight alone, it is easy to feel like your life is somehow broadcast large across the landscape. Like the moon shines only for you on those lonely rides home in the middle of the night. I ran with people who liked to stay out late, driving cars through the night to hidden places where laughter floated with smoke above the trees—the skies large and dark with stars that glowed like gypsy bracelets above the river moving slow. The Susquehanna became our life blood. Swimming in that water at night, half drunk on the freedom of youth and sips of whiskey, I felt the flow of life move strong through me and I would lie back in the current, my ears submerged in the water as my eyes fixed on the night sky, floating in the movement of a world beneath the stars. This album attempts to capture those old feelings that still reside in me; stories that emerge without asking, words pouring through lips still caught in dream and memory.


Release: Through The Cracks

The whole world was watching when I became invisible.
At first, I carried on just the same, till you saw through me.
Then I turned around to see someone just like me had taken my place,
and I’d been watching and waiting on a future that was long gone.

It was just a moment swallowed by history. Just a moment that will die with me.

Now it’s been quite some time, and sometimes I wish I was invisible, still.
And that a stranger with a face like mine had been living my life for me,
cos then I would have somebody else to blame for all that I’ve done,
and maybe I could explain the way I feel…
Oh fuck it, it doesn’t matter…

It was just a moment swallowed by history. Just a moment that will die with me.

In just a moment everything can change. In just a moment I became invisible.

Hot Rod Hearse

Release: There By The Road

Whatever the weather, the time or place. No matter what you think of existence or survival, between the sheets and on wooden floors, between the pieces of bread and the homemade jam. The liquor and the loving...
between the lashings...

We are all made to vibrate, the frequency that makes us buzz and live, from before the moment we come out screaming with red faces, covered in our sibling's regret. To the moment the black maria comes to take us to our finally party at our grandchildren's rejoice ... inheritance of the music, the vibrations between the lashings.

There will be those that try to limit us in our ways, sticking to genres, exposing your flaws, telling you to trust them - "I know what I'm talking about"
Well they don't know us...

We are the drivers, the co-pilots, the scratches of the underbelly and lubricators of thundering rumbling engines. Our army is the smoke that plumes from exhausts, the rubber burnt into your drive way. We are not rebellious, we don't wish to make a statement... but we just simply are, we just simply be, and through dirges and ditches, those that tell us that we don't believe in it shall see.

Music and art shall find you, the writing the chattering, the singing and dancing, not ones that are in with the world they have planned. worlds within worlds, songs within songs, wear a ball gown and sing about love...... sing about things you don't know... or pretend you don't know thereof.

There is a place for all and for all a case, a case we plea out with words, with screams, with warbling guitars, forceful drums, groovy bass lines and jammy:jazzy:funky:blues riffs.

We shall be one way then another, we shall make you laugh, we shall make you dance, we shall make you think and sing along. Together we shall all go along with the funeral march and celebrate the death of convention and the one dimensional. We shall be as if we are one and all, untamed by the social norms and etiquette laid out before us.

To those that want to restrain us, to force us to pick a side, to concentrate on a angle, to sing the blues or play some rock, well I shall raise you a jazz chord, I shall throw you my washboard, we shall scat and twist and smash and jump !

Some people put music in boxes, but we are the Hearse... we bury boxes.

Nathan Evans Fox

Release: Home

Picking this album title was a strange thing. During the first round of brainstorming, I plumbed my lyrics for some favorite phrases. My wife and I went back to the drawing board when we realized that most of my favorite phrases sounded like very elaborate sexual innuendos when they were decontextualized from their respective tunes. When I returned to the lyrics again for the second round of brainstorming, I came out with huge chunks of verses, meaning the album title would read more like the ending of Ulysses than a quippy phrase. Finally, one night my wife and I were sitting in our car outside our newly rented house staring at the unkempt ivy suffocating the brick, the overgrown bamboo pushing under our window shutters, the fissures in the foundation crescendoing into leaning walls, and the shingles sagging off the rotting corners of the roof. Our recent conversations had been about the places we had lived, our hopes for life in a new city, and, like any good couple who recently moved from a New York City shoebox apartment, how badly we needed (read: deserved) a puppy. Only a few months earlier, I had done the math--over the last six years, I’ve moved residences an average of 3 times a year. And God knows I never expected to end up in New York City, let alone Texas.

Sitting in the car outside our decaying bungalow, I proposed we call the album “Home”. Even though there are probably more albums named “Home” than there are cars stuck on US-59 in the middle of Houston rush hour, naming the album “Home” seemed as inevitable as that rush hour traffic on US-59. The album's lyrics are obsessively working with images of, feelings about, and relationships to home, and I was apparently the last one to realize it. Putting that word, “Home,” on the cover isn’t so much giving the album a title as it is placing a huge, flashing billboard on the front that says “Just follow this word and this concept and you’ll probably understand the album better than the fool who wrote it.

George Fetner

Release: Some Things Will Change

Imagine yourself in the middle of your grandparents’ attic. The sunlight beams through cracks that have opened up over decades of subtle shifting. There are boxes everywhere; some open and rifled through and never visited again. Others are in tact and taped shut. You pull one of the open boxes closer to you and peer in, spying artifacts that could tell you more about your family than what you’ve learned about them in your entire life. One of those artifacts is a brass globe the size of a softball, tarnished with fingerprints and dappled with shine like city lights seen from space. The more you investigate this tiny world, the more you find. The more you find, the more curious you are. At the end of the day you’ll tuck it back into its box and keep it as a memory amongst other more impressive artifacts like journals and pictures. And though they tell the stories more clearly, the ambiguity of this brass globe will never settle with you. It will always be the first memory you have of someone else’s.

Salaam Cinema

Salaam Cinema EP

"The world's a circus, don't you be the clown!":

That was the word that was going around,

Sounds pretty good and it rolls off the tongue,

Sounds like a line you would write in a song.

But when you dig into the passage a bit

You'll see that the saying is total bull shit

The worlds not a circus, the world is a bore

And we need more clowns like never before

The passage sounds empty once you have the knowledge

And you will find plenty at your local clown college.

The City of Light

Release: Through The Heartland

the dark is so dark at the edge of dawn

a hard cold clear wind / bare trees and rocks / a rustling bush

the horizon moans / a fawn darts past and gone

my winding path from nowhere to here

widening out and spinning down


i come upon the place / dome like, a small light / hands in my pockets

there’s no way back now / only in and through

inside / i fall into myself / spinning down

a deep wave / wave upon wave

light in dark / dark in light


there’s no way back now / only in and through

Daniella Smith

Release: Freedom Anthem

To me music is the most powerful tool we have to communicate and connect with each other. Music has the power to ignite conversation, and new thought processes. Music can create a connection where there wouldn't  be one otherwise. It feels to me like we live in a time when it is critical to be able have successful communication between all of us. Communication can lead to understanding, and that is promising! It's exciting that art and music can serve as a gateway to connection. We the people are stronger when we are united, when we can see past our differences. Not only see past them, but actually appreciate each other's differences. We change for the better when we acknowledge that we need all of the diversity that nature offers. My latest songs are about the power and freedom that come from evolution and transformation. All which is powered by the energy of Love.

Geena Fontanella

Release: Reset

When I went in for a writing session, I didn’t know what I wanted to write about.  At the time, I felt a little numb.  I hadn’t dealt with a lot of personal issues and screw-ups and honestly, didn’t want to deal with them.  I just kept avoiding the issues, but they were keeping me awake at night.  I told my songwriting partner, Thomas Daniel, “I wish there was a Reset button.”  That kind of sparked the concept.  Ironically, the song ended up giving me a new start.  It helped me heal a lot of the shame I had and forced me to recognize my pain.

Although this is my first song release in 3 years, I hope it makes a bold statement for me and my future artistry.  There’s power in pain.  You just have to recognize you have it, and when you finally do, you can help others as well.

Ivory Woods

Release: Ivory Woods

Let the Avalanche In

You were once enough and when you open your eyes it’s like you were never away. It moves through your body in the stillness it always dwelt in. Starts with a shaking motion. Depression turning into creative energy.

So on another February morning you stop digging the ground. Throw yourself into the ivory. Let it come down as it were. You get the vision, then you start sculpting.

It is tricky yet so simple, constant expansion. For every minute you shrink, expand two. 

To be avalanche-sized man must survive one. 

I tell you child

You’re paralysed

And out of time

And so am I

If we decide