Hailing from Australia, Josef Salvat's début record Night Swim has finally been released to the world, having been previously released only in France. Night Swim is suave and sexy, it's an excellent electro- and / or synth-pop record which marries Salvat's enticing vocals with meticulously crafted electronics and percussion to strike the correct emotional notes throughout its duration.
Opening track 'Open Season' opens with softly pulsating electronics that conjure the image of a stroll through an American city street late at night, illuminated solely by neon signs. However, the track quickly progresses into a more spirited pop number, presenting the first of many infectious choruses present on this enthralling record. Previous single 'Hustler' is a less excitable affair, as piano and personal reflection combine to create an intimate atmosphere which is countered by the resounding percussion.
'Punchline' continues on from 'Hustler' in much the same style, before soaring into a flurry of vocal harmonies and thunderous percussion, which is quite breathtaking. Conversely, 'Closer' saunters through its verses, and dances with undeniable confidence during the chorus, resulting in an exemplary pop track. Conjuring yet another shade of synth-pop majesty, 'Til I Found You' is a bold and brash number, harnessing the peak energy of previous songs for its full length, whilst imparting more serious atmospheric edge.
'Constant Runners' sounds like the best possible configuration of Kasabian's 'Shoot The Runner' and the best pop anthems of the '80s, whilst its twists and turns can prove difficult to navigate at first, they certainly add to its charm after numerous listens. Title track 'Night Swim' is beautiful, as the comparatively subdued instrumentals and vocals allow Salvat's vocals to take centre stage, as his lyrics appear to invite the listener into a world of luxury. 'The Days' and 'Every Night' provide two final slices of pop brilliance before token solemn closer in the form of 'A Better Word'. Accented with sparkling piano, the record's final track is an endearing end to a work of art which expertly spans various corners of the pop spectrum.
In the age of #HYPE, Salvat's international exposure surely maximised the pressure of delivery on his début album. This appears to be a challenge met with determination and creativity, as Night Swim is an accomplished set of tracks which as a whole are simultaneously happy and sad in the simplest of terms. Even more simply: it's fantastic.