Today, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Zalta announces his newest album, and first under his real name, Memento Mori, a genre-spanning ode to, as the title suggests, remembering one's own mortality.

As the initial offering, Zalta shares the album's lead single "What I Need," a song about falling in love with someone new who's reluctant to give it back.

This point remains poignant given the context in which the song was made, Zalta says, "The song was recorded with my ex on backing vocals (as she is on all of these tracks). We had just broken up a week or so prior, but we were still living together at the time. I kind of like the idea of two people whose life together is falling apart singing about new love."


Although Memento Mori is his debut release, Sam Zalta has crafted an album of ambitious, lush, evocative soundscapes with memorable verses and choruses that can make the listener feel both at home and connected with deep emotions. Only a musician, songwriter, and producer like Zalta can give us such a masterwork.

Since 2016, Zalta has played guitar and keyboards for Bambara in their live configuration, touring the world with the Brooklyn-via-Atlanta rising outfit. Zalta has been writing and recording since his teens under different aliases, sharing them only with close friends and family, and performing live scarcely in and around New York. Now he’s ready to go public and make a mark with his own sound.

Working for the first time under his own name, he produced an album of ambitious, melancholic music. Working without a preconceived plan, Zalta let the songs develop on their own before concepts and themes started to emerge. “It’s the most pure or natural thing I’ve done,” he says.

“Memento mori” means “remember you are mortal” or “remember you will die”, phrases that serve this collection of songs well since the themes of the album revolve around the many definitions of death. While not a concept album per se, Memento Mori has different through lines that get intertwined and evolve from track to track, with some of the first few songs in the tracklist delving into questions of the meaning of life and the search for connection (through love, spirituality and community), while the next batch deal with the complications those relationships bring; later on, the lyrics struggle with finding meaning to it all only to resolve in the inescapable fate of death; which in turn, becomes a celebration to take advantage of every second and dedicate ourselves to what make us happy. It’s a call to celebrate what life we have left to live.

Some of the inspirations of the album include the films of Alejandro Jodorowski, Federico Fellini, and David Lynch; the works of Jung, Allen Ginsberg, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and the Bible; the music of Woody Guthrie, The Wrens, Judee Sill, the hymn “Amazing Grace”, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Sunn O))), Swans, Spiritualized, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Joanna Newsom, and Big Star, among others.

For the album release, there will be shows happening around NYC with tours following in May and throughout the summer.

By pulling from many sources and inspirations, as well as his own inner thoughts and emotions, Zalta has created a work of art that grows with each listen.

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