Salim Nourallah wears many hats in the industry. Nourallah is an artist, producer, Palo Santo Records co-founder, and Dallas indie singer-songwriter, who has had a long and steady career in music. His production credits include playing with the Old 97’s, Rhett Miller, The Damnwells, Buttercup, and Carter Albrecht, as well as boosting a rich catalog of music from his solo endeavors baring 6 albums among other projects to date.
Nourallah’s music oftentimes pervade with an earnest and stark confessional style in the tradition of John Lennon and Bob Dylan. Fueled by existential questions, his sound and style makes the deliberate attempt to bridge his inner demons with songs that are like glimpses into sheer moments of insanity. He explains, “Spending a lifetime dedicated to any form of writing is a particular form of madness. Especially in the face of the unlikely event that you will ever see much or any monetary compensation.” Nourallah’s songs erupts under the subject matters of lost self and love lost connecting with listeners with their melancholy-twist in a dysfunctional molecular level.
Nourallah’s North EP, which was released June 1st of last year, offers up an introspective and emotionally powerful set of songs that creates for audiences a listening experience that is highly elevated. A polished production, North brings Nourallah’s perspective to the table and it is something to relish in – the EP is a searing piece of work that contains catchy and expansive melodies that are welded together with an engaging symphonic finish.
North opens up with “Relief,” where a zealous set of fuzzed out guitar riffs jumpstart this track. Nourallah’s rugged vocals give this song a melancholy vibe. With a world-weary feel, Nourallah sings about an apathetic world where it is all unbearable except for that one person who can keep you sane. Atmospheric electronic beats give off an ambient and soaring feel to the ethereal-like music.
The second track to the EP, “Totally Lost,” contains a beatific piano melody that courses throughout the start of this song. Ambient synths go on to sound off on this track. Nourallah’s vocals unfolds in a vulnerable way as lush strings go on to trace this introspective song.
“The Bullies Are Back (2018 Version)” has an acoustic guitar melody that runs down the course of this track. A piano tune also traces this song. Nourallah’s vocals are filled with reverb, announcing with an ominous turn of phrase: “the bullies are back…they are quick to attack and slaughter trees.” A simply arranged acoustic track that bares all, the acoustic guitar and piano alone accompanies Nourallah’s vocals that does anything but retreat from the ensuing threat. Instead Nourallah seems to be taking a stance.
He is definitely making a stand with North. This is a fierce EP with daring songs that oftentimes ties in the weirdly strenuous veins that are connected in each of our journeys that sometimes surprise us in our most desperate times. You can say that there is a silver lining in every situation, and it is off this platform of hope that Salim Nourallah leverages his plan of attack: to join our collective hearts and ears into one shared conscious as we each simply bask in the glow of these beautiful songs.
About his craft, Nourallah observes, “Songwriting is kind of amusing to me, because it’s a waiting game. While you continue to observe things, feel things, and even jot down titles, it’s basically waiting for the moment where you enter this trance state of tuning into this distant radio station. There’s a song out there somewhere, and it’ll start coming through – but you can’t force it, or ‘demand’ that it happens.”