Spacey Jane

ARIA award winning Fremantle band Spacey Jane seized the moment in 2020. With the pandemic ravaging the music industry, the quartet may have lost tour dates but stuck firm to the June 2020 release of their debut album Sunlight.

“The best thing a band that can't tour can do is put out an album,” Spacey Jane singer Caleb Harper says; “It feels like 2020 set us up for success,” drummer Kieran Lama says. “All the things fell into place. There was so much space for it, everyone was so hungry for it.”

That appetite saw Sunlight - intimate tales of failed romances and mental health disasters set to euphoric tunes – soar into the ARIA chart at #2. Album favourites “Weightless”, “Skin” and “Straightfaced” all lobbed in last year’s triple j Hottest 100, but it would be the album’s final single, the instant-classic “Booster Seat”, that jettisoned Spacey Jane into the mainstream.

“Booster Seat” landed at #2 on the 2020 Hottest 100, ahead of Flume, Ball Park Music and Tame Impala and only behind Glass Animals (the UK band sending their congratulations over social media). The single went on to win Song Of The Year at the 2021 ARIA Awards and is certified platinum.

It has been an incredibly swift ascent for the band who formed in 2016. Caleb and Kieran met in high school in Geraldton, Western Australia: they were the only people they knew who played musical instruments. After moving to Perth for university the pair formed their first band Sicchino. Kieran met guitarist Ashton Le Cornu at university in Perth; he’d bonded with original bassist Amelia Murray after she noticed the Nirvana and Pearl Jam stickers on his laptop. With an instant chemistry, the foursome became fast friends.

"Amelia really changed the dynamic in the band,” Caleb adds. “It was less testosterone-fuelled, basically. We weren't good enough to replicate any particular sound back then, so what we created then happened to become our own thing.” The band name? Each member has their own recollection of the story. The key components involve alcohol, a list of adjectives on Amelia’s phone that included ‘Spacey’ and a friend named Jane.

2017 saw the release of their first EP No Way To Treat An Animal - home to streaming hits “Thrills” and “Feeding the Family”. Two more EPs, In The Meantime and In The Slight, would follow in 2018.

They ticked off selling out their first hometown headline show as well as festivals including Yours and Owls, Laneway and Falls before playing Splendour in the Grass in 2019. By that point, Amelia had left the band to follow her first love, medicine. The band found their bassist Peppa Lane through mutual friends.

"Even in the first rehearsal Peppa made the songs so exciting for us, she gave us energy, an immediately positive influence,” Caleb notes. Splendour was indeed Peppa’s second show with Spacey Jane - “That was definitely a ‘wow’ moment,” she says. While they got to tour Sunlight around WA in 2020, the foursome finally played postponed East Coast dates in 2021, playing songs fans already loved while their Hottest 100 cache made waves overseas. The “Booster Seat” video has had well over half a million views, while the song has cracked 26 million Spotify streams.

“We had that song for so long, we never realised it was going to be a huge hit when we were recording it and first playing it, it was a surprise,” Ashton notes. “When Peppa put her vocals on it we thought 'Wait, this is actually quite special'.”

“Booster Seat” is getting radio attention in the UK and US, but the band are already working on a second album with producer Konstantin Kersting (The Jungle Giants, Mallrat, Milky Chance) as well as Sunlight's producer Dave Parkin.

The band’s first taste of new material is the single “Lots of Nothing”. Road tested on their sell-out tour in the first half of 2021, it pinpoints a subtle development of their sound, with intricate guitar work and Caleb exploring his falsetto.

Lyrically, Caleb came up with a concept of all the parts of his personality he didn’t like being personified in a clone of himself – who he’d then try to reconcile.“I had the idea you should be able to love and accept that person, or see which parts of them you want to do away with entirely,” the singer says. “It’s told through the story of going on a weird road trip where that clone dude is third wheeling.”

The second single “Lunchtime” was released in October and premiered globally as a “Zane Lowe World First” on Apple Music 1. “I wrote this song while experiencing severe hangover anxiety and feeling extremely hopeless. It’s fun to juxtapose fast upbeat instrumentation with somber lyrics and themes. I’m trying to explain how I feel like I’m just going through the motions with love, career, friends and family. I felt like everything was just happening because it had to and not because I cared about it.”

They'll finish recording their second album this year and have international tours slated for early next year.

They remain a tight unit ready to take on the world – even hanging out in their spare time, playing golf and watching movies, in-between touring and recording sessions.“There’s no one I hang out with more than the other members of this band,” Kieran says. “This is my life and I’m very OK with that.”

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