Three weeks ago, photographer and musician Wolfgang Tillman announced the return of witch house trio SALEM, teasing that he’d just received their first piece of music in more than five years—a remix of Tillman’s track, “Make It Up As You Go Along,” off his EP, 2016/1986. Today, they’ve shared the comeback song and paired it with an ominous, monochromatic visual of waves ebbing onto shore, captured by Tillman.
The song—SALEM’s first release since their 2011 EP, I’m Still In The Night—is a brutal revival of their signature dark, confrontational sound, packed with screams, gunshots and shattering glass. Reworked in Montagut, Louisiana, where the band’s been living for the past year, the track is a dense abstraction of his original, “except for the melancholic harmony running throughout,” Tillman told The FADER. “[…] everything else is replaced by a wall of intense sounds which they felt inspired to use by their time in the rural South.”
Tillman, who recorded the visual treatment on Fire Island off the coast of Long Island, said he filmed when the surf wasn’t particularly high or still. “The movement of the ocean is so totally beyond our control, he said. “It is forever larger than us. It cannot really be grasped, and can be perceived as scary or comforting. By slowing the film down the seawater gets the illusion of different viscosity, more like oil.”
Experience SALEM and Tillman’s collaboration, below: