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SPACEY JANE Sunlight gets 7/10


Spacey Jane

Sunlight
AWAL

7/10

The indie rock four-piece Spacey Jane formed in Fremantle in 2016 and their story to date has been an inspiring one. Two beloved EPs – 2017’s No Way To Treat An Animal and 2018’s In The Slight – attracted national attention and led to support from Triple J and prestige slots at Laneway and other festivals. The last three years has seen a steady onslaught of buzzy singles and relentless gigging – it’s not an overstatement to say that Spacey Jane has enjoyed one of the most meteoric rises in Australian music in the last decade. Now their debut album Sunlight finally arrives and it’s an unsurprising but still enjoyable listen.

The band cites Kings of Leon – the early, rougher version of the American icons – as a major influence and their sound is imprinted all over Spacey Jane and their album. Sunlight is littered with punchy melodies and memorable chorus lines. It deals in smooth and uncomplicated indie rock, the type that has won current British bands like Catfish and Bottlemen and Blossoms a mass of fans.

The album’s through line is personal discovery by way of self-reflection. It speaks to the immediate experience of most in their early 20s – the typical Spacey Jane in other words – as they confront mental health and romantic problems and the uncertainty of the world around them.

Frontman Caleb Harper is both a talented vocalist and strong songwriter. On Straightfaced Harper describes the painful process of falling out of love with someone with the lyrics “I can’t keep a straight face and tell you I still love you/ I’m so sick of lying but it’s all we’ve got the rest is fake”; the hazy strum of Wasted On Me contains the plaintive lines “You must feel that you wasted your life for me/ Well I know I feel the same”. The album generally follows this pattern, a carefully concocted formula that pares a breezy pop rhythm with deeper, more thoughtful lyrics.

The Kings of Leon comparison brings further intrigue after considering songs like Skin and Good For You: they’re made to be belted back to the band by huge audiences packed into stadiums; Spacey Jane may only appreciate the early work of Kings of Leon but they seem primed to follow that band’s path to anthemic stadium rock.

There is nothing innovative here but there doesn’t really need to be. Having amassed such a devoted following in such a short time, to reinvent their sound suddenly would’ve been unnecessary at this stage of their musical career. Sunlight will be well-received by those who enjoy such Australian guitar bands and what it represents is a confident first step into LP territory for the band. Its songs are catchy, hooky, and ultimately satisfying – it will be interesting to see how the Spacey Jane sound expands as they move onto future albums.

CONOR LOCHRIE

 

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