Spacey Jane releases the deluxe edition of Here Comes Everybody via AWAL. Available digitally now, the deluxe edition of Here Comes Everybody features the aforementioned new single “Sorry Instead,” the formidable rework of “Lots of Nothing feat. BENEE,” the glowing “Is This What You Wanted” and a live version of “Hardlight,” recorded at RAC Arena in Perth on their recent Australian tour.
Of the new single, frontman Caleb Harper explains, “’Sorry Instead only just missed out on making the album so it feels good to finally have it out in the world! I really like how dark the versus feel compared to the chorus and the woahhhh chants at the end were super fun in the studio with Ashton and Kon (Kersting). Also if it looks kinda windy in the music video that’s because it was, holy shit.”
Spacey Jane’s second full-length album, the honest and inspirational Here Comes Everybody, uses their recent success to foster more musical nuance and depth, but there is no trace of post-fame jadedness. Rather, these songs continue the hard work of pushing against a world that keeps pressing down, of fighting toward the other side of this mess we’ve made. These anthems are fully up to the task and it’s no surprise the album debuted at #1 on the Australian album charts.
Spacey Jane’s pandemic story starts like that of countless other bands—new momentum stunted by an unexpected and overwhelming international tragedy. For years, they’d sculpted a few dozen songs of sharp guitar jangles and bounding rhythms, the radiance offset by Harper’s entirely tuneful descriptions of his struggles. “There’s this expectation that your late teens and early 20s are the golden years, the best fucking time,” he says. “But the reality is that it’s not some great event, if you look at the difficulty of the world right now.” Australia agreed: Sunlight, Spacey Jane’s debut, catapulted toward the top of the charts, becoming ubiquitous during that first summer of lockdown. “Booster Seat,” a sleepy but sullen gem about watching your friends succeed from the sideline, became a timely anthem for an island ostracized by lockdown, grabbing the No. 2 slot on the year-end triple j chart. These are rarified feats for a self-managed band and a testament to their songs’ delightful tension between fun and frustration, excitement and ennui.
They couldn’t, however, leave Australia. Having given up his place for impending tours, Harper moved in with his father and retreated to a bedroom with an acoustic guitar, trying to suss out what kind of advice he might offer to other kids stuck between stations as he once had been and somehow still was. The songs that emerged hinged on the same vulnerability and candor that defined Sunlight—the depressed college kid studying cigarettes and booze to distract himself from tedium on “Sitting Up,” the mindless tasks used to still post-breakup sadness on “Clean My Car,” the endless apprehension of impostor syndrome on “Hardlight.” These songs sported a new sense of reassurance, though; they felt like detailed notes to Harper’s past remembered selves, reminders that he had made it through despair to find his place. You might, too.
When Spacey Jane finally reconvened to record, they decided to indulge in these songs, to give them more space and time than ever before. After all, they’d started as an electrifying live band, aiming to get people to party and dance in pubs; with tours on indefinite pause, they aimed, instead, to make the songs as rich as possible. In the Brisbane studio Empire, Harper and Hardman-Le Cornu explored assorted pedals and amps and synths, searching for sounds to fortify these sentiments. Lama and new bassist Peppa Lane tinkered with the rhythms, maintaining Spacey Jane’s core propulsion but augmenting it with an expansive thoughtfulness. Where Sunlight felt like a shot in the arm, Here Comes Everybody feels like a consummate statement, a dozen odes to hardship and resilience built at last with sounds that tell the fullness of that story.
With its bass throb, cascading chorus, and endlessly refracted guitars, “Lot of Nothing” stares down the despised side of oneself and tries to reckon with it, arriving at what feels like a lost Phoenix smash. “Hardlight” shimmers and shudders like an updated R.E.M., soft harmonies tracing the breathless quest for self-confidence. The mighty but tender “Haircut” addresses our endless struggle to reinvent ourselves, convinced that we’re only good if we’re growing like capitalism says we must. It is a hymn for the letting go, for trying to accept that doubt will never go away but you can at least deal with it. The brilliant “Yet,” a country-traced jangle, celebrates the importance of telling your friends how you feel and listening to them, of lifting one another up just by showing up. On Here Comes Everybody, Spacey Jane squares up to real struggles, climbs atop them, and shouts out loud about the process, at least a little victorious in mere survival.
Photo Courtesy: Charlie Hardy