Words: Thomas Stichbury
Singer Josef Salvat hits a sombre note as he delves into the very real dangers of the chemsex scene within the gay community in new single 'Paper Moons'.
A subject matter that is close to his heart, the Australian artist addresses a friend who is caught in the vice-like grip of drugs and sex addiction on the haunting new track.
“Who am I am to stand in your way?/If you want to lose yourself, I don’t know what to say/You keep asking me to save you but it never works,” he sings.
“I don’t know why you’re so committed to your pain/Another flight, another line to numb the worst/You are it again.”
The lyrics continue: “When you slip up, I’m breaking too, slipping under next to you/Is that what you need me to do?/I don’t wanna think no more/I’m not your father, not your cure.”
In the newly-released music video, the 31-year-old electro artist is seen looking increasingly distressed while wandering round a sweat-drenched queer nightclub.
Reflecting on the inspiration behind the deeply personal track, Josef says it is rooted in a relationship with a loved one who refuses to accept help, or to help themselves.
“In this case, the addiction was an insidious, creeping cocktail of drugs and sex, that can creep up on people,” he begins.
“The song was written after one particularly harrowing early morning call from a dear friend I had once loved who had just left the last apartment of the night and, still high but coming down, was in floods of tears, full of regret, with a profound sense of loneliness and shame,” Josef adds.
“It was a lot, and when the call finally ended, I walked straight into the studio and the song was written within the hour.”
The song will appear on the former lawyer’s upcoming second album, modern anxiety, released on 15 May, four years on from his debut, Night Swim.
If you or a friend are struggling with addiction, please speak to Antidote: Drugs and Alcohol Support on 020 7833 1674 (10am-6pm, Monday to Friday).