The Poison Tree

Listening to The Poison Tree elicits a unique sense of d©j  vu. Although the precise cause of this feeling is difficult to articulate, it is entirely evident that the band has created one of the most beautiful albums in recent memory.

The Poison Tree is the latest project of former King of France front man, Steve Salett, and an assortment of musicians from his Saltlands music collective in Brooklyn. The resulting self-titled LP is a seamless exploration of love, life, and the human condition. From the opening track, Saletts warm baritone vocals wrap the listener in an auditory embrace that is not relinquished until the albums concluding notes. Along the way, acoustic guitar, strings, and subtle harmonies, provide a gorgeous background. The striking combination of these elements is perhaps most apparent on “My Only Friend”, an eerie song that speaks of wounded pride.

Earlier in the week, as winter tried to deny the onset of spring with another onslaught of snow and slush, The Poison Tree crossed into Manhattan to warm a star-studded audience at Joes Pub with its halcyon sound. The bands brilliant 13-song set focused on offerings from the LP, but also included a King of France song, and a few new tunes. Throughout the night, Salett was joined by different musicians including a trumpet player who contributed his part on “Welcome to the Neighborhood” and “Caught” from his table in the audience.

The aforementioned feeling of d©j  vu will undoubtedly subside as my experiences with The Poison Tree move from a false sense of familiarity to actual reality. However, the pleasure that this album brings is unlikely to be as ephemeral.

The Poison Tree – Never Know Me

The Poison Tree – My Only Friend (set to a famous scene in the Orson Welles movie Touch of Evil)

The Poison Tree – “My Only Friend”; Touch of Evil (1958) from Pierre Bonnenuit on Vimeo.


Brooklyn band The Poison Tree just sent us this very cool video set to the opening scene of Orson Welles’ movie, Touch of Evil. I remember this movie from a cinema class that I failed / dropped out of (let’s say dropped out since my mother reads this sometimes). The scene was made famous because it was shot in its entirety with only one camera. It’s a great video and song. Plus Janet Leigh is hot.

The Poison Tree’s self-titled debut comes out in March. We’ll have more coming about this album in the coming weeks. Here’s an mp3 for another song on the album:

The Poison Tree – Never Know Me

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