Sydney indie band Salarymen have released their second EP, Head in the Sand, via Scenic Drive Records. The five-song release tucks into influences such as The Strokes, Wet Leg, Beach House and Alvvays. Band members Renee de la Motte and Thom Eagleton recorded and mixed the release at their home studio, with a little help from dab hand Wayne Connolly (You Am I, Paul Dempsey).
De la Motte, Salarymen’s vocalist and bass player, described Head in the Sand as a collection of songs “born from a rollercoaster of emotions” spurred on by the COVID-19 lockdowns. “The lyrics reflect on us yearning for a simpler time, where the biggest thing on our mind is what beach we’re going to, and where to find a cold beer,” said de la Motte.
Salarymen: Head in the Sand
1. Summer’s Coming
Salarymen: It’s so easy to write songs about negative topics because the lyrics just seem to flow out of you so easily. This song is our conscious attempt at writing a feel-good track that brings instant joy to whoever is listening. We tried to squeeze in as many typical Aussie summer activities as possible, referencing everything from beach days and nudie swims to the hordes of insects that you can’t escape. It’s got a bit of a Californian surf rock feel, so if you like Best Coast you’ll definitely dig it.
2. All In Vain
This track is about humanity’s strange relationship with social media and how it’s come to be such a dominant influence in our lives. I wouldn’t go as far to say that life was better when people didn’t know what their mates were doing every five minutes, but it was definitely different.
We all have friends and acquaintances who seem desperate to be seen on social media and it’s really changed the way that people view themselves and what they see as accomplishments.
As musicians, it often feels like the number of followers on Instagram or TikTok is more important than the music you’re putting out. So there’s a few different layers within the lyrics. The Strokes were a particular influence on this track, so if you like them then give it a whirl.
3. Young Guns
We wrote this track in the days following the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas. It’s about the absolute madness of kids going to school and fearing they won’t come home and how crazy the lack of action from US lawmakers is.
The music is supposed to be pretty happy-go-lucky and carefree because that’s the way the government seems to react each time it happens. A few thoughts and prayers but no meaningful action.
It’s got a similar feel to some of Arcade Fire’s early stuff, and has a nice call-and-response vocal line between us.
4. Toe To Toe
If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship, this track will resonate with you. As you get to know someone deeper, you come to appreciate all the good and the not-so-good things they bring to the table, and you start to enter some pretty complex emotional territory.
While it’s technically a brand new track, we’ve had it up our sleeve for three years. Every time we play live, Thom tells the crowd it’s about his foot fetish instead, which always goes down really well. In terms of musical influences, if you like classic indie bands like Alvvays you might like this track.
This track is about lockdown and dreaming of our escape. Fun fact: we wrote, engineered, produced and mixed this song all by ourselves. There weren’t too many other options at the time and we’re really proud of how it turned out.
This song is our first foray into dream pop and psych territory and we’re so keen to do this more. Some of our favourite artists are Tame Impala, Beach House and Hatchie, so you can definitely hear those influences coming through. The instrumentation is really dreamy and ethereal for most of the song before we drop into a full-on psych-rock breakdown.
This is also one of our favourite songs to play live as we go absolutely nuts at the end and extend the outro.