NEW SOUNDS: Josef Salvat

Little-known Josef Salvat is signed to the same label as broody wonder woman Lana Del Rey, and the comparisons between him and the songstress are definitely not unfounded.  There’s a gritty, existentialist backdrop to the Australian’s productions that welds itself to surprisingly simple backbeats at times. It’s true that this unassuming layout could very easily be cast as boring, however, the clean production that is fed by clattering booms and synth work only serves to emphasise the young man’s impressive vocal range. You’d be forgiven in boxing Salvat into the ‘electro pop crooner’ category, but that would be ignoring the captivating way he drops down several octaves from a fine falsetto to a bluesy husk on tracks like ‘This Life’ and ‘Every Night’. Another showcase of this talent is the chilling ‘Shoot And Run’, as he sings about a woman who grabs a gun, a “happy hunter”, and her subsequent “ripe fresh kill”. The closing refrain reaches a crescendo with a string section. In ‘Hustler’, the song that earned him an appreciative nod by indie colossuses Pitchfork, there is more of his enigmatic lyricism: “I’ve got the body of a lover with a masochist’s brain” he drawls.

Josef Salvat’s latest offering, the EP Open Season, is a four-song ensemble that also contains a cover of Sia’s ‘Diamonds’. Overall, you could probably count the musician’s catalogue on the fingers of one hand (two at a push), and there’s virtually no PR involved. Despite this, Salvat’s sound and intention feel firmly established.

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