Saltfen have done a grand job of inhabiting every corner of Cambridge since dropping their EP ‘Birthday Letters’ last month. The four-piece have been plastered across the city’s airwaves and gig listings, undoubtedly gaining swathes of fans with their buoyant indie rock. Saltfen aren’t just a textbook indie band though. There’s a duality to their music. One side of their sound boasts sun-tinted melodies, noodly guitar licks and wandering basslines that fit together neatly. The other side is a delightfully scrappy amalgamation of textured, dark-hued progressions and careening drums, that communicate a kind of urgency.
But it’s the grizzly, cathartic bellows of front man Tom Woolner that acts as the adhesive, bridging the gap from one paradox to the other. It’s Woolner’s vocals that are also the case and point for the favourable comparisons to the Strokes and Julian Casablancas’ forlorn wails and lofi, radio frequency vocal production.
Sonically though, Saltfen are Bombay Bicycle Club in their ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ era, or Blaenavon in their ‘Prague’ days. It’s easy to attach a dozen references to Saltfen though, simply because they sound like an iconic indie band in their early days; charmingly unpolished, relentlessly energetic and oozing with potential. And if that isn’t an indication that you need to hop on the bandwagon earlier rather than later, we don’t know what is.
Catch Saltfen performing live at Lightning Nations’ rock revival show, taking place at The Blue Moon in Cambridge next Thursday (22nd).
Join the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/228885400992301/