By Susie Long, Second Year Classical Studies
If you’re after vibrant songs, memorable lyrics and electric personalities, look no further than Spacey Jane. From Fremantle, Australia, the band of twenty-somethings sing about life, love, loss and everything in between - all tied up in songs that you feel compelled to dance down the street to.
With their UK/Europe tour well underway, and six tracks from their newest album Here Comes Everybody claiming spots within Triple J’s Hottest 100 chart with single “Hardlight” making it to the top three, Spacey Jane are undeniably on a roll. Last week, I had the chance to chat to frontman Caleb Harper about their recent achievements, touring, and their new album.
“People definitely have a lot to say about it”, he laughed, “it’s definitely divided opinions.” Considering the success of the band’s debut album Sunlight, it’s hardly surprising that all eyes were on the band to produce another hit. Harper described that “there was a lot of pressure going into making and releasing [Here Comes Everybody], so I think we’re really grateful that, for the most part, it resonated with people in a similar way. It inspires a sort of confidence in us.”
Behind their catchy melodies, the songs of Here Comes Everybody have been widely praised for their open approach and stance on mental health - a topic that Harper and I discussed in detail. He explained: “writing on personal stories and from personal experiences is such an important part of life for me, and as far I can tell I’m not unique in that way. [...] Even though, ironically, these songs have gone on to be heard by all these people, it feels like a kind of private way to let out some of these thoughts and feelings.”
In life post-pandemic, we agreed, there is a lot of pressure on living the ‘perfect’ life in your late teens and early twenties: a stigma that Harper and his fellow Spacey Jane members are eager to break. He goes on to say “I realised that it’s an important and powerful tool to be able to normalise my experience of the worst parts of mental health at a time where everyone seems to think that you should be hitting the best point in your life.” Unsurprisingly, pairing this highly relatable content with flawless musicality has led to massive popularity for the band.
There is no greater testament to this popularity than seeing Spacey Jane perform live. After their highly anticipated tour of the UK and Ireland in April 2022, Harper excitedly spoke about performing on this side of the world again. “Essentially, I’m excited to eat a lot of Greggs sausage rolls and Starbucks porridge,” he joked, “but in all seriousness, we had the best time last year and can’t wait to come back again.” He even claimed (with no bribery from me needed) that Bristol was one of the band’s favourite stops on the tour, with both the sets at The Fleece and the more intimate Rough Trade making the highlight list.
This time around, the band took over a much larger venue, playing a sold-out show at SWX with the brilliant opening act Dolores Forever. And they really did not disappoint. With the perfect blend of sincerity and fun that their songs possess, this gig was one of the best I’ve been to. The band’s energy was infectious and the setlist curated to perfection, with displays from lead guitarist Ashton Le Cornu of potentially some of the most impressive hair-ography I’ve ever seen.
The crowd went mad for them the minute they stepped on stage - and didn’t stop until long after they’d left: screaming out song lyrics and moshing (almost religiously) like their lives depended on it. Being at that concert made it obvious to me why Harper and the band loved playing in Bristol, and clearly Bristol loved having Spacey Jane there too.
Of course, the path to success for Spacey Jane does not stop here. Harper confirmed that they are in the early stages of writing new music, after recovering from the “emotional whirlwind that is tour”, he laughed. I asked if there was anything we can expect to hear from the band’s new music, to which he replied: “honestly it’s probably too early to see, I’m not even sure what my songs will sound like yet.”
He continues that, where there was pressure to create the ‘perfect album’ with Here Comes Everybody (which they did, I think), that the expectation has grown even further for them now. Harper concluded, however, that “essentially, it’s impossible to make everyone really happy with our music, so we just try to focus on the stuff that makes us happy.”
I, for one, cannot wait to hear this new music from them, whatever it sounds like. Until then, it’s time to listen to the “Spacey Jane Discography” playlist on repeat, and maybe buy a Greggs sausage roll or two.
Featured Image: James Wallace
Have you listened to Spacey Jane?