Born and raised in Seattle to a mixed-heritage family, Zaidi crafted his stage name to honor his unique background. Taking influence from lyrical greats (Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, especially), and imbuing folk compositions with hip-hop and electronic elements, Zaidi recorded Acre Of Salt at Los Angeles’ famous Sound City studios, where he also worked with backing band members Ethan Gruska, Sebastian Steinberg (Fiona Apple), saxophonist Sam Gendel and KaneRitchotte (Portugal. The Man).
“So much of this album is a study of the quarter-life crisis,” he says. “The mid-20s shift from, ‘Oh it’s not my responsibility to worry about more things than just, I don’t know, who I’ve got a crush on, or what I want to do.’ It’s the awareness of both the problems and the world around you, and the frailty of things.”
With an eloquent gift for poetic action, Ben Zaidi shows his empathetic strummy gifts on “Younger With Time.” A simple acoustic guitar circles profoundly as Zaidi’s soft voice takes the front seat. A likeness to a stripped-down feel of Amos Lee and Bahamas; Zaidi forges potent indie-folk with apparently no time for fluff or cheap tricks.
“So much of your 20’s can be defined by the loss of this thing called ‘youth.’ We often end up disowning it, mourning it, and trying to recapture it, all at once. But what if youth wasn’t a time? What if it was just a name for a particular kind of freedom? And what if, after all of the heartbreak, the loss, the disillusionment, the apathy––what if you could still find it, with a little help ?”