Head In The Sand and heart in Japan with Salarymen
The indie outfit, their new EP, and what they’re most looking forward to on their upcoming tour to Japan.
Out of Eora/ Sydney comes the indie rock-pop sounds of Salarymen, a band who over the past 12 months have had tracks premiered on triple j, rotation on FBi, 2SER and SYN in addition to features on Spotify and Apple Music playlists. Finishing out 2022 strong, they reveal their sophomore EP Head In The Sand, a collection of self-produced indie jams, alongside tour dates for Japan and Sydney.
Referencing the likes of The Strokes, Wetleg, Beach House and Alvvays, Head In The Sand combines lush sonic textures with beautifully layered vocals to make a well-polished collection of real, relatable stories. Covering the stresses of long term relationships with the powerful Toe to Toe, highlighting the influence of social media with the catchy and bright All In Vain, reflecting on pandemic-related themes with the hazy Rerun, commenting on the state of gun violence in America with the recently released call-and-response single Young Gun, and basking in all those golden moments of an Australian summer with EP's lead track Summer’s Coming - which was recently treated to a vintage-camcorder-shot accompanying video (see below), the EP is covers a wide breadth of subject matter whilst remaining specific and true to the signature Salarymen sound.
Recorded and mixed by Salarymen (Renee de la Motte & Thom Eagleton) in their home studio, with support from award-winning engineer and label manager Wayne Connolly (Boy and Bear, Cloud Control), Head In The Sand is a sophisticated step-up for the outfit production wise, timestamping their growth and confirming their status as a staple in Australia’s indie music scene.
With the EP out today and a tour kicking off next month, we’d like to celebrate by hearing what Salarymen are most looking forward to on their upcoming tour in Japan. Be sure to save the date for their Sydney show December 10th, hit play on Head In The Sand, and take a scroll through what they had to say below.
What are the 5 things you're most looking forward to on your Japan tour?
Accompanying images supplied by Salarymen
1. The flourishing live music scene
Japan’s live music scene is incredibly unique. There are tonnes of amazing venues hidden down unassuming alleyways, with gigs on almost every night of the week. It could be a Monday night in the suburbs, and you’ll literally stumble on one of the best live music venues in Tokyo. It’s incredibly refreshing coming from Sydney, where there are limited options to play and see live music. A little known fact is that Japan is the second largest music market in the world! Then there’s the performances outside venues too – like the famous rockabilly dancers who meet up in Yoyogi Park on a Sunday, and the assortment of awesome jazz and record bars that are filled to the brim.
2. The food (especially the convenience stores)
We’d be lying if we said food wasn’t the number one thing we’re looking forward to. We literally plan to have “second dinners” most nights so that we can fit in extra meals during the trip. Whether it’s a soothing bowl of ramen, scalding hot Takoyaki or Yakitori from a street vendor, we’ve tried it all on the late night stumble back to our accommodation. Also we can’t forget convenience store food! Japanese Seven Eleven and their equivalents Family Mart and Lawson are no joke. The food is amazing and we love to grab some juicy fried chicken, onigiri or the classic egg sandwiches when we’re out exploring the town.
3. Meeting the locals
Another huge part of why we love Japan so much is the people, they are truly lovely and so considerate. We’ve made so many great friends over there and had some of the best nights of our lives, purely by meeting and chatting with the locals (even if there was a language barrier at play!). One night we were in a small mountain town looking for some dinner and an early night in. It quickly turned into a night of drunken karaoke with a pro golfer, a famous singer and the owner of Japan’s oldest hotel chain, who invited us to stay next time we were in town. Absolutely ridiculous!!
4. Izakaya’s and karaoke
We can’t wait to drink some Japanese beer and sake in all of the tiny bars (know as izakayas). Anyone who’s been before will tell you how truly great this experience is. These bars are usually lined up in a row and limited to a very small amount of seats (around 6-8) so you get to have great chats with the bartenders all the while being served a selection of snacks. The essential post-bar activity is karaoke. It’s not like the sad Aussie karaoke experience, where VB’s cost $12 and you’re broke at the end of the night. Instead, you get to dress up as Pikachu or a Japanese schoolgirl and sing your favourite guilty pleasure/s into the early hours of the morning and drinks are super cheap.
5. Pet cafes
This one’s a little weird but we can’t wait to explore all the pet cafes in Japan! We’ve been to a couple before with hedgehogs, Shiba Inus and even otters. But we still need to pat some piglets, cats and snakes (lol)!! It’s something you can’t really do in Aus so we love getting amongst the weird and wonderful. If you haven’t sipped a latte while holding a hedgehog have you really lived?
SALARYMEN UPCOMING SHOWS
TUE 22 NOV | LIVEHOUSE PANGEA, OSAKA
w/ Episode, Newdums, Qoomol
FRI 25 NOV | BASEMENT BAR, TOKYO
w/ American Dream Express, Jan Flu, Yangdoe
SAT 10 DEC | VIC ON THE PARK, SYDNEY
w/ The Brights
Salarymen's new Ep Head In The Sand is out now.