Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Now, this man can normally do no wrong in my eyes ears. And for the most part, his debut EP In Your Prime continues along this theme. Open Season, This Life and Shoot and Run have their usual effect (let's call it Salvat Syndrome) of making me feel happy and sad in equal parts, with a sprinkling of hope.

It's the type of music that you need to play when you're at a turning point in your life. It's travelling music. Ever woken up alone on an aeroplane to find everyone else is asleep? A plane that you're not convinced you should have stepped on? It's the loneliest feeling in the world. And the perfect time to whack on something like opening track, Open Season. Salvat's voice is perma-gloomy enough for a catharsis of misery, yet the chorus kicks in with enough bounce to give a glimmer of euphoria and lift you into the realms of hopefulness. (Hopeful that you made the right decision getting on the plane, which it always is - nothing good came from sticking to your comfort zones, or so an inspirational quote on Instagram once told me).

However, after three such tracks, the EP takes a sinister turn. A Rihanna cover. Yup. Rihanna. Diamonds. Nothing wrong with Rihanna but to go from three soulfully euphoric pop nuggets to something that would be more at home on a Radio 1 Live Lounge album is a little deflating. Then you're left with that burst balloon feeling as this is the last track on the EP. And the only one I don't sing along to. (My housemates will be able to verify this. They'll probably also tell you that Shoot and Run gets the best performance but that I need to work on my vibrato.)

I'm not saying it's a bad cover - he makes it his own with a stripped back piano-led performance - it's just not my bag. Explaining the choice, he said, "The song itself is such a beautiful moment, finding refuge in another person and submitting together. It's something I've experienced a lot in my life and I try to write about it often." Which makes me understand the track more, but still doesn't give me stirrings in my heart for it. I guess he should just take that as more of a compliment for his original work. If a cover of a Sia-penned pop song is a letdown to your own material, you're doing pretty good.

In Your Prime is out now. A full album is expected early 2015.

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