Sailor & I - The Invention Of Loneliness (Skint Records)

Sailor & I – The Invention Of Loneliness (Skint Records)

You may, not unreasonably, presume Sailor & I to be a duo, perhaps one performing cheesy seventies numbers at the local working men’s club, but thankfully, such an assumption falls woefully wide of the mark. No, this is the work of one man – Sweden’s Alexander Sjödin, and somehow, the title of this debut long player manages to describe the contents within just perfectly.

Not that I would want to give you the impression that The Invention Of Loneliness does nothing but brood sulkily, but there is an omnipresent edge of solitude throughout. Recent single ‘Black Swan‘, for instance, calls to mind evenings of reckless abandon and pure hedonism, leading to an inevitable need to escape and collapse in an alcove somewhere in the sweaty nightclub that has been planted at the forefront of your cranium – a ‘safe place’ if you like – where you’re still aware of all the other revellers at the club, all the flashing lights, thudding music; everything is there before you, but it feels more like a surreal out of body experience than merely a necessary breather from festivities. Sure, there is the odd moment of sullen dejection here: ‘Next To You‘, for example, sounds like the aftermath of a situation where you’ve befriended Empire Of The Sun but then betrayed them by stealing their wives and girlfriends. But for the most part, ‘Invention…‘ doubles up as an electrically charged set of downbeat dance anthems and atmospheric morning after pick-me-ups.

I’m pretty sure that the lyrics “I wanna feel your skin on mine, chameleon“, which feature prominently, are not literally being sung to the old world lizard from which the song takes its name, but, you know, artists can be weird at times, so who knows? Maybe it’s about Eric Clapton, who, amongst Slow Hand and other nicknames, sometimes gets called ‘The Chameleon’. Then again, that would arguably be even weirder. No, I’m guessing it’s about a woman whose personality changes constantly, but whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter; this is a fine track regardless, and, like the rest of the record, conveys that ‘after hours’ vibe quite splendidly.

That’s the album in a nutshell – a dreamlike quality is a constant, sometimes, as in ‘Supervisions‘, a somewhat nightmarish one, vocals not too far adrift from the Basement Jaxx classic ‘Where’s Your Head At‘, but there is always something to suggest refuge is at hand. Engaging and intense, Sailor & I are/is destined for great things, I’m sure.

The Invention Of Loneliness is out now on Skint.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.