It’s a difficult thing to expand your sound as an artist, and yet L.A. Salami is doing it; with new single “Peace of Mind,” the multi-faceted artist begins to move away from his folk-influenced roots, releasing a fittingly uneasy R&B track. Anchored by rhythmic guitar and a decisive yet subtle beat, the song benefits from Salami’s suave vocals and extra flourishes from spacey synths. The track is one big balancing act: Between its complicated rhythmic patterns and lyrics dedicated to a loving relationship filled with disagreement, there is a lot shifting. Salami clarifies: ”’Peace of Mind’ is a song about the reconciliation of love with the inevitability of conflict, and ultimately the acceptance of imperfections.”
This is the third single released off his forthcoming album Ottoline, along with “Desperate Times, Mediocre Measures” and “Systemic Pandemic,” with the LP coming out Oct. 14. This body of work as a whole takes much more inspiration from rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Drake, a change from Salami’s folk sound on releases prior.
It makes sense that such an artist would seek to move between genres or transcend these boundaries altogether, as he does not stick to music alone. As a printmaker and fashion designer, he has an eye for visuals, so of course this latest release is accompanied by a music video. Shot by the sea, with cliffs towering above, Salami and a partner are depicted constantly moving between arguments and embraces as Salami cryptically asks what would give them peace of mind, finally moving into repeating, “Peace is fine.” There is not a real feeling of resolution to the song, a fitting end.
L.A. Salami will be appearing at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg on Sept. 23, and playing a release show at Rough Trade East in London on Oct. 20. You can preorder Ottoline here, and watch the music video for “Peace of Mind” below, plus L.A. Salami’s 2017 Paste Studio session.