The Salesman is releasing an album of quirky indie pop songs intended to uplift
the spirits of those people who struggle to just get through the day. Today, The Salesman released the single, “Trying To Be,” from the upcoming album, Say Something (So We Can Judge You) that will be released on November 9th. The album touches on frustration, depression, and anxiety. Issues we all deal with and are important to vocalize in this day and age. The fact is that we all pretend to be perfect humans while inside we are breaking down.
“Trying To Be” is a happy tune encouraging to be a better person today that yesterday, go outside, make the effort. It is easier said than done but with encouragement can be done. While each song is not supposed to be some false beacon of hope, Egan hopes that using his songs to share his own struggles with anxiety and depression will help people who feel like they are suffering alone in their mental health issues to know there are other people out there who feel the same way. He hopes that if someone relates to the songs or the lyrics, it may help them feel the sense of community and belonging that so many people seem to be lacking.
We were excited to chat with Chris Egan, singer-songwriter behind The Salesman, about the upcoming album and what is next.
What has The Salesman been up to since we last spoke?
When we spoke in August 2015, I was releasing my first EP and I had this grand plan that I was going to release new music every month. My wife and I had also just welcomed our first child into the world. Little did I know that my free time was spoken for, by my adorable little monster boy. So, my plans changed, and music took a back seat and eventually just got ignored. That was more my fault than my son’s I could have done some better planning and made time for it, but I was still figuring out being a father. Still am.
But now, three years later, my wife and I have two children, a son and daughter, and we are more aware of the importance of making time for yourself. So, I dusted off the guitar, the recording gear, and the synthesizers, and here I am with a seven-song album of alternative/indie pop tunes.
Tell us about the new album…
The Album is called Say Something (So We Can Judge You) — that title is based on the thoughts that often pop up in my head when I am in the midst of a panic attack, quietly keeping to myself in some uncomfortable group setting when someone inevitably says, “Why are you so quiet?”
Drowning in the negativity of my anxiety, I assume they mean the worst, hence the album title, but I know in reality, most people are probably just being nice and trying to include me.
I chose that title because I realized I had all these songs I had written about anxiety, depression, and being frustrated in certain aspects of life, and I decided I should just put them together for an album.
I have had issues with anxiety and depression, and one of the most frustrating parts is not knowing why you feel this way. I love my family, my kids and my wife. My wife and I have good jobs with flexibility. We have food to eat and our bills are paid, so why am I depressed? Then you feel like you don’t have a right to feel this way because you know how good your life is and sometimes that idea can make it go away for a little while, essentially using brute force, but it’s just covered up, it’s not gone. It eventually resurfaces. So, I started writing songs about those feelings, which included anxiety that has haunted me for years.
When you are deep in a bout of depression, despite the support that family or friends may offer, you still often feel alone. I figure if maybe someone else dealing with depression or anxiety will hear these songs, perhaps relate to them, and remember that they aren’t alone.
I'm sure that a lot of people will probably think that an album that is mostly about mental health issues is probably really depressing to listen to, but despite the contradiction I don't think I write depressing songs. That’s usually not my style of writing. Many of the songs are upbeat and outright poppy. While some of the lyrics deal with heavy topics, I think the words are effectively juxtaposed by a quirky-fun set of songs that feature overtly happy and triumphant sounding instruments like ukuleles and brass horn sections.
Throw in a few crazy synthesizer sounds and a diverse collection of drum sounds and that's the album.
What is next for The Salesman?
I played all the instruments and programmed all the drums on this album, but I’d really like to put a band together and perform these songs live. I hope to do that soon. Beyond that, I have a number of songs that I am itching to record and hope to put out music on a more regular basis, though I will remember the lesson I learned in 2015, and I’ll refrain from committing to that.