With two EP’s under their belt and a string of triple j approved singles, Spacey Jane have rapidly built a passionate fanbase that have sold out multiple headline tours and packed out stages at festivals to support this indie-rock four-piece.
Representing Western Australia, they’ve firmly cemented their place in the touring circuit and have been at the top of all the must watch lists for the past two years.
Their debut album ‘Sunlight’ (out now) is a cohesive listen from start to finish that takes listeners on a journey into lead singer Caleb Harper’s inner monologue as he navigates falling in love, heartbreak, family relationships, mental health issues, and the general ups and downs of life in your early twenties.
It’s a record with a lot of heart and soul that coincides with some big festival ready riffs and singalong’s that will help continually grow their live set. With singles like ‘Good For You’, ‘Head Cold’, ‘Skin’, ‘Straightfaced’ and ‘Good Grief’ making their way onto the album, there are some other exciting new tracks like ‘Booster Seat’ and ‘Wasted On Me’ that could become big singles for them.
I recently chatted to Spacey Jane’s drummer, Kieran Lama, about about building the cohesiveness behind their debut album ‘Sunlight’, reflected on the creative process behind ‘Booster Seat’ and discussed their plans for their next Australian tour. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Spacey Jane’s debut album ‘Sunlight’ is out now, and it’s a very cohesive collection that explores the growing sonic of the band. So upon reflection of the record, what do these twelve tracks embody for you as a band?
KIERAN LAMA: It’s tough to pin point one exact thing because we recorded it over such a long space and time that it now represents a lot of different things. I feel like the lyrical themes are pretty cohesive because Caleb was writing about a lot of what was happening in his life.
It’s interesting because a lot of relationships of ours started and finished during the recording of this album. So thematically it feels like a very open and closed chapter in his life, and for the rest of us it feels like it represents a journey.
TB: ’Wasted On Me’ is a song that immediately stands out to me because of it’s raw vulnerability. The lyric “You must feel like you wasted your life on me. I know, I feel the same” literally hits me in the feels. So while Caleb wrote the song, can you talk us through those lyrical emotions that this song is built upon?
KL: Its funny because Caleb is one of my best friends so I know what he is singing about and the situations specifically. So It’s really interesting to see that happening in real time, and then to see it reflected in songs.
But sometimes we don’t even know what is going on or how he’s feeling about something until a song is shown to us, and then it starts making sense. In particular, what Caleb has shared about ‘Wasted On Me’ is that it’s more or less an apology. It resonates a lot to me as I feel like everyone has regrets to some degree.
TB: ’Booster Seat’ is another track that feels like an immediate raw highlight and something that you guys have described as a bit sonically spacious. So can you explain to us how this song came together creatively?
KL: This is my favourite song the album! We demo’d ‘Booster Seat’ in January 2019 and it sounds a bit different now to be honest. Ashton’s riff has always been there, but I think one of the biggest things was that we felt like there was a bit too much going on. We really did strip it back and rebuilt it. The parts have all been there from the start but their placements and dynamics have altered, and Caleb’s guitar playing has become quite spacious in the verse.
It feels like a very deliberate song for us in our standards as most of the time we have four chord indie rock songs that are very “go for it” guitar music. We were very intentional with
Booster Seat’ and I think it shows. I also think it comes down to the subject matter as it gives it a real sensitivity and that’s what I love about it the most.
TB: What song on the record took the longest?
KL: I think ‘Love Me Like I Haven’t Changed’ took the longest to record which is weird because it’s a pretty simple song. But we road tested it on tour well before we finished recording it and then spent ages on it trying to find the right riff and baseline to fit the song.
We went through a fair few different iterations and takes while trying to figure out exactly what we wanted to play. It almost felt like we had too much freedom with that song, and we should’ve been aware of that in the moment.
TB: The brief and breezy ‘Sunlight’ is the closing track on the album and is also the records title track. What was it about this song that felt like the perfect all rounded representation of the album, and something you wanted to name the record after?
KL: To be honest with you I’m not really sure why we named the album ‘Sunlight’ other than we just really liked the meaning of the song and how it fit into the context of the album and the other lyrical themes.
I feel like it summarises everything and is a bit more optimistic than the likes of ‘Straightfaced’ or ‘Booster Seat’. The way that Caleb has described it is that it’s almost a metaphor to love through being essentially a pot-plant for a relationship. Even if you care endlessly for it, if you don’t know what it needs then it will die. It’s not going to continue to thrive.
The song summarises Caleb’s thoughts on relationships, and that’s why I think it also perfectly sums up the album as a whole too. We also just all like the word and what it makes us insanely think of.
TB: Spacey Jane have been receiving a whole lot of love from Triple J and Spotify over the past two years. Have you heard any of your songs being played in any weird or surprising places yet?
KL: We have a shit-posting group called Thrill Posting, and someone from Peru posted a video of one of ours songs playing on local radio. That shit is pretty wild to me because I don’t think we ever really think about a global reach. We are very much so still an Australian band. We’ve never been outside of Australia or New Zealand, so it’s a pretty far stretch of our imagination to think of one of our songs being played somewhere where people mostly speak in a different language.
TB: 2019 saw you do a whole lot of touring right into 2020 when you joined Laneway Festival for their epic line up. So what has been the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourselves as performers over the past year?
KL: I don’t think the nervous energy has really gone away. Before going on stage to a sold out crowd is always a little intimidating and uncomfortable. So it hasn’t been about getting rid of that energy at all, it’s just be about embracing it.
We’ve also played all the old songs for ages now that my muscle memory has started to kick in with the setlist. I don’t feel like I’m working hard to play anymore, I can instead focus on playing and enjoy the moment.
TB: With your forthcoming Australian tour currently slated for August, how do you want to translate this album to the live stage?
KL: There a lot of keys and aux instrumentation on this album so we’ve been figuring out just how to bring that into the live show. We are actually jumping into the studio in two weeks time and crack onto creating backing tracks and triggers as I have a drum pad that we want to use.
At the end of the day we don’t want to be reliant on that stuff. We want to keep it as raw as possible, but some of the songs need that extra stuff as there is a lot on the album that is more than what is doable by a four piece rock band.
I’m really excited about that part of it though as we’ve really lived in seperate worlds between recording and performing, so to be able to kinda bring the two together is a really exciting prospect.
TB: What song from the album are you most excited about performing live?
KL: I really love ‘Booster Seat’ but for me personally it’s gonna be super easy to play as I don’t have to do a lot *laughs*. But otherwise, I’m also excited for ‘Weightless’ as it’s an off-kilter beat and there are a lot of keys in it. So I’m keen to see how we can bring it to life sonically.
TB: Let’s played a quick game of rapid fire questions. You ready?
KL: Let’s do it!
TB: The emoji that best describes our debut album ‘Sunlight’ is…
KL: The sun emoji, obviously!
TB: Our pre show ritual involves…
KL: Being nervous! And Peppa listens to music and jumps around.
TB: The messiest member of Spacey Jane on tour would be…
KL:Sometimes it’s Caleb, and sometimes it’s me!
TB: A TV show I’ve been binging during Isolation is…
KL: Community! I’m a huge Community fan right now.
TB: A word I know in another language is…
KL: My first word was “Apfel”, which is “Apple” in German.
Spacey Jane’s debut album ‘Sunlight’ is out now!
For all up-to-date tour dates please visit https://spaceyjane.com.au/tour