Josef Salvat - In Your Prime EP Cover
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Open Season – Josef Salvat

The song “Open Season”, from late 2014, is from Josef Salvat‘s “In Your Prime” EP. He is an Australian singer, and was originally known for his version of Rihanna’s song “Diamonds”.

This was my first song obsession of 2015, I had it on repeat for much of the year. It took on more meaning for me later in the year due to some life changes that happened.

As the year started, I had been working at a corporate job for a little over 12 years, and had recently been thinking of making a change to something different. I wasn’t totally sure what it was, but I knew I wanted out.

Eventually, I decided on web development. A nice combination of creativity and technology. I researched some schools and decided on one that offered a two-month bootcamp program. My last day at my job was in early June and at the end of the month I started the next phase of my life, being a student at the Juno College of Technology (or HackerYou, as it was called when I attended).

It was an amazing two months and set me on the course that lead me to where I am today. During and after finishing the program, the lyrics to this song took on more meaning. I thought of the 27 of us in the class as the ‘we’ of the song. We were all at different stages of life and career, but like it says, “we’re in this game together”.

And for me in my life, it was definitely open season. I had quit my long-term job, paid off all my debts, learned a new skill, and was looking forward to starting a new career and a new chapter in my life.

The Song

I love how it starts, the lyrics come in at only nine seconds into the song, it doesn’t waste any time. There is such a sense and calmness and subtlety in his voice and the way he delivers the lyrics.

0-0:08 Intro

0:09 – :30 Verse

We used to have it all planned
We thought we knew what it all looked like
We were looking out on the greatest view
We were raised to take a stand
We were raised to keep an open mind
We believed we’d just sail on through

The ‘we’ in the song can refer to anyone you want it to. It could be you and your significant other, your friends or family, or just society in general. As I mentioned above, at the time I related it to my classmates and me.

Now I think of it more in a general sense, any generation that’s preparing to enter ‘the real world’. A younger generation looking out at the world and what the future could hold for them.

I think a lot of people at a certain age think these things to themselves. That they’ve got life figured out, that they know what they want from life, and that there’s no way it’s not going to happen (‘just sail on through’). Or maybe that’s just how it was when I was younger?!

0:31 – 0:52

Now I’m a hundred miles an hour
Sitting in my palace without any power
Alone in the dark
We’re alone in the dark
Thought we could always try a bit harder
But if the dice don’t wanna roll in your favour
It falls apart, the fantasy falls apart

Musically, this section introduces some extra background sounds.

This is my favourite part of the song, in terms of lyrics. Life is moving so quickly, so many things going on, so many thoughts happening. You get to the point where you have some accomplishments, you have your palace, but then you feel powerless. It reminds of some lyrics from “Slow Jam” by New Order where they say “I spent a day all by myself, a rich man without his wealth”. Like what’s the point, what is it all good for? You try to make it better, to try different things, but even still, they don’t always work out, and everything you hoped would happen in life falls apart.

0:53 – 1:13 Pre-chorus

And this is open season
Time is up, time to be leaving
Head on down this very arbitrary road
Armour up and say your prayers
From on the dole to millionaires
I heard you’re better off on your own
But I ain’t gonna face this hunt alone

You think that this is the chorus, but really it’s just the lead into the real chorus.

1:14 – 1:34 Chorus

So I’ll be needing you
And I know you’ll be needing me too
We’re in this game together
We’re in this game together
And I believe in you
And I know you believe in me too
We’re in this game together
We’re in this game together

Here is where it gets inspirational and the song really opens up. This is the call to action, it’s open season, anything goes. But I can’t and won’t do it alone, let’s do this together. Let’s change the world.

1:35 – 1:55 Verse

All the faces we’ve forgotten
All the tracks we’ve given up
Only saw you for a moment
No it was nowhere near enough
But I take it as it comes, I take it as I only can
I take it all, and run where it goes

Unlike in the first verse, in this verse we have no snare drum until the “But I take it as it comes” line. Also., this verse introduces some soft piano in the background.

If you listen carefully you’ll hear that the drum pattern is a bit different this time right before the pre-chorus, there is an extra snare. I love it when songs do this, throw in subtle musical changes.

1:56 – 2:17 Pre-chorus

‘Cause this is open season,
Time is up, time to be leaving
Head on down this very arbitrary road
Armour up, and say your prayers
From on the dole to millionaires
I heard you’re better off on your own
But I ain’t gonna face this hunt alone

The drum pattern is also slightly different during this pre-chorus, there is a snare-snare-snare pattern right before the “Armour up” line.

2:18 – 2:40 Chorus

So I’ll be needing you
And I know you’ll be needing me too
We’re in this game together
We’re in this game together
And I believe in you
And I know you believe in me too
We’re in this game together
We’re in this game together
So I’ll be needing you

Now we get our first real break from the singing, since it started at 0:09 seconds in, and it’s still only a short break.

2:46 – 2:53

We’re only at the start

Some more piano, and another small break in singing. He pretty much sings throughout the whole song.

3:00 – 3:44 Chorus x2

So I’ll be needing you
And I know you’ll be needing me too
We’re in this game together
We’re in this game together
And I believe in you
And I know you believe in me too
We’re in this game together
We’re in this game together

The very last repetition of the verse is slightly different. There is a snare-snare-snare drum pattern right before the “So I’ll be needing you” and “And I believe in you” lines.

The Music Video

To be honest, I never even saw the video for the song until a week or so ago when I started working on this post. It’s a clever concept for a video, and contains some beautiful cinematography. Its message is still accurate for today (though I realize it’s only around five years old), and I like that it’s done in a tongue-in-cheek way. I bet you’ll crack a smile or two watching it 🙂

Conclusion

2015 was a very transitional year for me, I’m glad I had and will always have this song to remind me of that period. It was the right time for me to have left my job and kickstart the next phase of life. I am now in the best place I’ve ever been in my life.

Earlier I mentioned that I attended Juno College to learn web development. This isn’t an ad or anything, but I just wanted to say that I can’t recommend that school enough. I can’t believe it’s been almost five years since I finished the bootcamp program. In any case, if you are looking to get into web development and you live in the Toronto area, you really need to check them out.

Also, don’t forget to check out my other Song Thoughts blog posts here.

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