Spacey Jane don’t have one bad song. I know that’s not the most balanced way to begin a review piece, but it’s imbued in wholehearted honesty. Every track from the new album, Here Comes Everybody, electrically embodies that familiar Spacey sound: summery indie-pop packed with lyrics universally relatable to an anxious-but-hopeful youth. Essentially, the Fremantle outfit show they know their strengths and are sticking to them. Although, this doesn’t mean that their music grows old. Rather, while the new record provides Spacey’s trademark punchy melodies and killer guitar riffs, their musical progression shows in the way they just keep on refining their sound marvellously.
The new album neatly compacts the big feelings of today’s ‘a little unhappy and severely underpaid’ generation, namely: heartbreak, substance use and suffering against the unpredictability of relationships. The opener ‘Sitting Up’ touches on alcoholism and insomnia in the tune’s first fifteen seconds, frontman Caleb Harper exclaiming, ’How’s that for an intro?’. This track perfectly sets the pace and tone for the songs that follow, the beginning of a rollercoaster into retrospection and realisation.
Where old favourites like ‘Thrills’ and ‘Good For You’ excite moshes with punky guitar and infectious angst, the new album makes room for slower tempos and themes of self-reflection. In ballad ‘Not What You Paid For’, Harper sings rawly on ‘the dull throbbing of a reckless summer’; seeking solace in drinks, getting kicked out of bars and wasting days away. Similarly, ‘Haircut’ takes a mellowly upbeat tone which contrasts lyrics on experimenting with haircuts and tattoos to try change yourself, only to end up disappointed. ‘It’s Been a Long Day’ follows suit, a sombre track that reflects on the tiredness in accepting dejection (‘Will you hold my things while I go under?/ I’m not sure I’ll be back’).
Even when their lyrics bear the discomfort of self-destruction and ‘fuck[ing] up again’, the record still flourishes with escapisms to summer. The sweet-sounding strings of ‘Bothers Me’ makes it the perfect soundtrack to those deep conversations you have while watching the sun slowly set. The high-energy ‘Lunchtime’ is the sound equivalent to that feeling of adrenaline you get sprinting on hot sand into the cold water. The energetic balance of gentle vocals and enthralling rhythm in ‘Hardlight’ makes it a song to play on repeat during your next road trip. Hit ‘Lots of Nothing’ encapsulates Spacey’s sound superbly: self-criticising lyrics that find hope in their enviously catchy, indie-genre-melting melodies.
Although Harper’s husky vocals are always warmly recognisable, the record illuminates the talent of, and chemistry between, each member. We hear more of bassist Peppa Lane’s vocals complementing Harper’s, notably on the smooth chorus of ‘Head Above’, a softer tune made for the crispiness of a vinyl play. The drums of Kieran Lama elevate every song’s emotional intensity. And as always, guitarist Ashton Hardman-Le Cornu masterfully carries every track.
As the album condenses a whirlwind of twenty-something experiences into twelve tunes, goodbye track ‘Pulling Through’ pairs Harper’s laidback vocals with a simple melody to illustrate the closest thing to closure. Harper sings, ‘if it feels like failure then it’s probably good for you/ If it tears your heart out, then you’re probably pulling through’, perhaps symbolising the next era for Spacey; one of acceptance and growing older and wiser as their listeners also do so.
But for now, Spacey Jane are just as charmingly vibey as ever — fuck ups and all.
Here Comes Everybody is available to stream on all platforms now.
Article written by Savannah Selimi
Image courtesy of Sam Hendel
Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!