Released February 2022: Islands by Josef Salvat
Three singles had been released in the build up to the album, each of which gives a faithful reflection of the flavour of Islands.
I was lucky enough to join a live-stream album preview ahead of the release so I already knew what to expect; solid pop songs with plenty of synths and heartfelt lyrics.
Promiscuity has echoes of Prince circa Kiss, which is no bad thing, and the whole album speaks of love and liberation; it exudes a confidence that comes with loving and accepting who you are.
There’s an undercurrent of obsessive love, however; the songs seem to reach out to someone who perhaps doesn’t love you back in quite the same way, as of there is a price to pay for being so open and liberal in love.
“You could be the one to give me pleasure, you could be the one to give me pain, I want you to see me like I see you” goes the brooding Pleasure Pain.
I am a huge Salvat fan, having discovered him during our first lockdown way back in 2020. This is an excellent addition to his body of work and might just be his best album yet.
Like its cover art suggests, Islands is a brilliant and colourful set of songs in which Salvat reflects on relationships both satisfying and cruel and how they altered the course of his life. The songs are engaging, memorable, fun and sometimes pretty goddamn sad, but such variety only contributes to his power as a songwriter. Too aware of the complexities and hypocrisy that underline romance, Salvat refuses to shy away from the messy role he has played in his past romances, and, as such, instils each song with an honesty that should be applauded.
Stream Islands via Spotify below:
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