Spacey Jane // Sunlight // Album Review

'Sunlight' shines on the glittering path ahead for Spacey Jane.

In a few short years Spacey Jane have gone from backyard barbecues into being one of the hottest tickets on the Australian market. A stellar 2019 continued the irreversible momentum the Perth four-piece have created with endless sold-out national tours, appearances on the billing of Australia’s biggest festivals and new music.

The music released last year would find itself on Spacey Jane’s debut record ‘Sunlight’. ‘Head Cold’, ‘Good Grief’ and ‘Good for You’ took off on a national scale with the latter landing itself at #80 on Triple J’s Hottest 100. Sonically, support behind these hit singles opened the door for the Western Australians. The band were given the green light by fans to experiment further and break the shackles of any previous modus operandi.

Album opener ‘Good For You’ teases this early on. In relation to the rest of the record, this is a heavier and more chaotic track. However, the four-piece begin to show that they have the ability to pull back the teeming guitar riffs to let the subject matter within the lyrics breathe. Moving through the tracklist, the record transforms before listeners. The relaxed ‘Booster Seat’ could easily have an acoustic guitar substituted in to feel whole as listeners shift their attention to the raw emotions that come with losing control of yourself in love. The Perth outfit are no longer the ‘No Way to Treat an Animal’ 18-year-olds anymore and do not need to play as hard and as fast as they can. Juxtapose the album opener with the final track ‘Sunlight’, the soft title track is almost incomparable to the surf rock style of ‘Good For You’. Yet, as listeners evolve over the 42-minute journey with the band, it could not be more fitting to conclude the record.

For a little over the last three years, Spacey Jane have stuck to garage style, surfer rock, indie jams. ‘Weightless’ forecasts the potential road ahead for the band sonically. It is dancey with a Phoenix-esque beat. The spaces typically filled with notable guitar riffs are replaced with synth arpeggios. It is as though the band are ready to broaden their horizons, signalling the end of a chapter. In many ways this is true for vocalist, guitarist Caleb Harper.

Either co-writing or solely writing every song on the LP, Harper uses the record as a cathartic release. In ‘Wasted On Me’, Harper admits to the faults of his own character: “But I’m not the man I wish I was / Not even half of him”. Delving deeper, Harper attributes this to the failings of previous relationships: “You must feel that you wasted your life on me / Well I know I feel the same”. A metaphor of the common cold to Harper’s party addiction in ‘Head Cold’ indicate these break downs being linked to his lifestyle.

Emotionally chilled and raw, Harper presents feelings of vulnerability. The analogy of the ‘Booster Seat’ illustrates how we may be out of control and at the mercy of others as our feet hover off the ground. However, as ‘Love Me Like I Changed’ conveys, loved ones may know you better than yourself, so it is okay to blindly rely on them when you fold like a house of cards.

Closing title track ‘Sunlight’ is a bleak reminder as we advance through periods of youth that some relationships cannot be salvaged. The comparison of the doomed relationship to a dying house plant describes the underlying problems that inevitably illuminate. Profound levels of love and care cannot save something if you do not know what it needs.

The beginning stages of Spacey Jane’s career have been fierce. The four-piece have managed to push their way to the front of the Australian indie scene. ‘Sunlight’ captures this rise as a debut album. The band displays the ability to empathise with the younger generation, capturing all the feelings of youth. Many indie bands of the past have fallen at this stage, unsure of where to go from here. The flowing transformation of ‘Sunlight’ expresses Spacey Jane’s eagerness to stay at the forefront by pushing their sound further and becoming a more versatile band in future releases.

'Sunlight' hits all streaming services on the12th of June.

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