Local four-piece HAIRCARE have embraced an alternative mix of rock, indie and nostalgia on their debut EP HAIRXARE. The sound isn’t easy to pin down, but you’re bound to hear it yourself soon enough with the EP so impressive it’s sure to get plenty of plays on WA’s airwaves over the coming months.

HAIRXARE was an all at-home production which mostly took place in guitarist and vocalist Broderick Madden-Scott’s Fremantle studio. Following on from the release of three singles (Hot Topic, On The Side and most recently For Koji), the EP is a small collection of the band’s most recent favourites, plus a couple of dreamy new additions. With previous singles already propelling them into support slots for the likes of Aldous Harding, Ali Barter, Stella Donnelly and San Cisco, this new release may see them hitting even higher heights soon.

Opening track On the Side is a really relaxing listen. There is evidently a lot of inspiration from The Strokes on the song, especially in Madden-Scott’s voice, where his “deepish” tone and dragged-out lines complete with a touch of distortion are certainly cut from Julian Casablancas’ cloth. Some serious percussion highlights are brought to the table by drummer Oscar Van Gass, who bounces in and out of some pretty impressive fills. While it’s a consistent song, there’s a lot of different drumming in this track and you can tell Van Gass really likes to make the most out of the kit.

For Koji has a distinct sound that feels strangely familiar. That’s because anybody that has ever come across Nintendo in their life would recognise features of this track. As a homage to Nintendo soundtrack composer Koji Kondo, Madden-Scott explained a little more in previous statements about their take towards the track, saying “The song deals with themes that I usually try and escape from via books and video games. It is essentially escapism at its finest.” At a short 2:52, it is a reminiscent anecdote to the rush we got from Super Mario Bros and the emotional attachment we felt from Animal Crossing all in one.

When You’re High is a nice follow on, still embracing a bit of the Nintendo-inspired vibes as the track embraces its title with a really washed out and hazy sound. With Madden-Scott’s lyrics layered over beachy, summery instrumentation, he sings some easing advice. “It’s a real nice time to be alive/ Take five/ Sink into the bottom of your desire/ All alone/ In your cheapest disguise.” We are then led out beautifully with some mumbled “oohs” which stays consistent to the song’s overall slow feel.

The sound begins to feel a bit more real on Sorry That I’ve Made You Feel This Way, as Haircare move away from the illusory concepts on previous tracks. Although that sound is still significantly present, we can hear a lot more pure instrumental material on this one. A classic funk beat hits on the off beats, accompanied by some simple strumming and clap sounds – and it’s all a bit more uptempo. The feature of the track ultimately lies in its apologetic nature, with lyrics like, “So I don’t try to get on your bad side/ But I think I might/ After tonight/ It’s killing me/ So darling won’t you stay/ Cause I’m sorry that I’ve made you feel this way.” It’s a heartfelt and surely relatable concept for most of us.

Wrapping up the EP is final track Hot Topic. As the longest one of the lot, it’s another easy listen which builds nicely with instrumentation. Madden-Scott also plays with his voice when singing the lyrics “Hot Topic,” which is a fun element of the track. HAIRCARE have done well to produce an EP which makes you feel like you have floated the entire way through it. It’s a perfect soundtrack for a lazy Sunday arvo, but there’s still plenty of feeling to unpack if you want to dig deeper.