Sydney band Safety First perfectly project with great style and panache a quirky and fey stance in their EP ‘Why Is Being Successful So Hard?’, an EP that is so packed with perfect pop vignettes that it sparkles with a delicate high-stepping joy.
Singer/songwriter Lexi Green has a dispassionate observant style that recalls an antipodean version of Jarvis Cocker with the witty discourse on the normal vicissitudes of life in all its crushing mundanity, while the rest of the band provides a sparkling undercurrent that pops and fizzles with a sparkle.
Green says of the EP:
We started work on some of these songs as far back as 2019 and lyrically they took a lot of trial and error to get right.
I would often write a verse loosely based on something that happened recently, and then come back to it months later and write another verse that was about something else. Some of the songs would end up being a mashup of random experiences and thoughts, and I would usually try to string them together into its own story.
‘Haircut’ references the EP title in its sparkling wry delivery, a dappling guitar refrain and the bouncing pace with a shouty anthemic chorus:
‘Exactly Like Me’ continues with the dry sense of self-deprecating humour that is sprinkled throughout the EP, wrapped in shining pop sensibilities. ‘Drinks’ is another melody-infused track with its focus on alcohol and money. ‘Office Romance’ is an hilarious observation on the travails of normal existence squeezed in between office hours and life. Final track ‘Diary Entry’ has a melancholy guitar riff and melody and captures the zeitgeist and the peripheral nature of social media:
It’s six in the morning
The sun looks in through my window
It just wants to be my friend
It’s shining brightly in my face
I’m still in bed
Cause I’m addicted to my phone
Scrolling through the morning
One forgotten friend at a time
It is accompanied by a video directed by Joel Ludemann that captures the sense of ennui and pathos:
‘Why Is Being Successful So Hard?’ is a very exciting debut, exhibiting a perfect collection of pop songs augmented by visceral lyrics injected with humour and bursting with vitality. It is out now and available to download and stream through all the usual sites and through the link below:
Safety First will be launching the EP on 23 August at the Vanguard in Sydney.
Feature Photograph: Bee Elton