Salim Nourallah – Snowing In My Heart

Salim Nourallah
Snowing In My Heart

Television teen drama executives listen up. Say those poor angst high schoolers Caitlyn and Bryce are just about to do it for the first time in the back seat of Bryce’s new Mercedes and you need that certain song to set the mood. Are those Elliott Smith or Badly Drawn Boy royalties too much for you to pay? Then look no further than Texan troubadour Salim Nourallah, who crafts the same bedroom bred Beatles influenced indie rock that you’re looking for!

Four albums in, Nourallah knows his way around well crafted pop songs with just the right amount of downtrodden-ness to make them “lo-fi,” a term so far removed from what it actually means it’s now a genre. Snowing In My Heart is an album of extremes with no chance of meeting in the middle. Happy and sad, confident and unsure, these are the points the album swing between. And while it’s gorgeous sounding all the same, it ends up at being as predictable as something on the CW.

The song titles alone are enough to show the parallels of mood that’s being created. On one hand Nourallah is full of cautious optimism (“Hang On,“ “Don’t Be Afraid”) and on the other hand full of impending doom (“The Terror,” “The Wicked Are Winning.”) Musically the songs are brash rockers such as “It’s Okay To Be Sad” or gentle numbers ready to be blown over by a puff of wind, like “I Miss You (So Come Back.”) Even the lyrics, delivered in a Conor Oberst meets Jeff Tweedy nervous rasp, border on the basic. Old rock song clichés are not exempt; if you need reassurance however we are told that no one knows what you have until it’s gone and that “It’s Lonely When You’re Alone” Who knew?

The Beatles by way of the many they’ve influenced lurk behind every song on Snowing. Opening track “Hang On” is full of tremolo guitar and McCartney bass while “The Wicked Are Winning” are the Fab 4 as channeled through Wilco circa summerteeth. “Don’t Be Afraid” is AM Wilco which means just about every definition of alt-country you can think of. Even the sounds of Coldplay make an appearance on “Days Disappear” and they’ve ripped off just about everyone.

Despite the drawbacks of sounding too much like your influences, using every musical instrument at your disposal and quoting heavily from the Big Book Of Rock Lyrics, Nourallah does a good job at piecing it all together. It’s a big sounding album full of introspection and a great deal of craft went into creating it. Unfortunately this album has been made many times before.