Bay Area singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Lindsay Olsen is the brilliant mind behind the warped and magical project Salami Rose Joe Louis. Drawing from her studies in planetary sciences, she creates a unique experience: exploring ideas of multiverses and climate change through the lens of a fictional post-apocalyptic keyboard-toting earthling with a flashlight, a can of cashews and a hopeful optimism. Melding influences from jazz, rock and hip-hop – Shuggie Otis, Captain Beefheart, Stereolab, and R. Stevie Moore – she creates a unique blend of experimental galaxy sounds with jazz influenced vocals and keys.
Her album “Akousmatikous” (Ah-coooz-mat-e-koi) features collaborations with Brijean (Ghostly International) and Soccer96 (a project from The Comet is Coming’s Danalogue and Betamax). It is released on 19th May 2023 with SRJL’s headline North American tour kicking off the following week.
Akousmatikous/Akousmatikoi (or acousmatic) translates to “sound where there is no identifiable source”. The Akousmatikoi were a sect of Pythagorean mystics from the 5th century BC that were called the “listeners” as opposed to the Mathematikoi sect that were called the “learners”. The Akousmatikoi focused on ritual, harmony, and ethical behavior. “I am enamored with the concept of listening to a sound when we don’t know the source,” says Lindsay. “The act of listening in this great expanse of the universe, for answers, for questions, or just for something undefinable that we seek.”
The former climate scientist signed with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label to release “Zdenka 2080” (2019) and “Chapters of Zdenka” (2021). Both collections were packed with short bursts of experimental pop, abstract beats and bedroom R&B songs connected by a sci-fi narrative describing a future dystopian Earth in the year 2080 that has been mis-managed by unethical governments and corporations. The Line of Best Fit proclaimed “Zdenka 2080” “disorientating and fascinating” whilst Bandcamp described “a sweet journey into a world of pure imagination” and charted it in their Best Albums of 2019. The album was also nominated for Album of the Year 2019 at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards.
“Akousmatikous” is the narrative sequel to “Zdenka 2080”:
After the metropolis spaceship crashes into earth at the end of “Zdenka 2080”, there is a dimensional collapse. As a result, the earthlings have their heads and hands transformed into screens, which is where we begin the new album. The earthlings get stuck in a never ending video feedback loop between their heads and their hands. An interdimensional being, Zeeanori, is manipulating this feedback loop because he wants the plants to reclaim Earth and for nature to be flourishing and healthy again. An old friend and past love of his, Akousmatikous (from a distant planet), comes to earth to speak to him, curious about his motives and the complicated ethics of the situation. Akousmatikous agrees that nature will be beautiful and flourish, but is concerned for the fate of the earthlings trapped in infinite feedback loops. Akousmatikous hopes for a solution that can be beneficial for every being and entity, a path toward symbiosis.
The title track ‘Akousmatikous (feat. Soccer96)’ is blessed with a stunning animated video directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Carlos López Estrada (Disney, MARVEL).
As on previous releases, Olsen primarily worked alone to write, record, produce and mix this record on her beloved Roland MV-8800 music workstation, but did venture out of her comfort zone to bring in some of her favorite musicians: Soccer96, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Juuwah, Brijean, Sergio Machado Plim, Danalogue, Jason Lindner, Dakim and Dan Nicholls. “I am a very introverted producer which has sometimes hindered me from pursuing collaborations in the past as I am shy to work with others in person,” explains Lindsay. “Having the opportunity to collaborate via the internet was a wonderful experience and led to some beautiful connections and new friendships.”
The album artwork is by award winning designer and filmmaker Winston Hacking – best known for his collaborations with Flying Lotus, Run The Jewels, Animal Collective, Andy Shauf and BADBADNOTGOOD. His passion lies in conjuring hybrid works that are equal parts contemporary collage and early cinematic illusion.