Maddy Jane takes us through her debut album, ‘Not All Bad Or Good’

Maddy Jane

Debut albums always make a statement, but with the eagerly anticipated debut from MADDY JANE, that statement-making is a bonafide kicking-down-the-door entrance that makes you take notice.

Released on May 1st, Not All Bad Or Good is the clearest manifestation of who Maddy Jane is as an artist: opinionated, bold, open, brave, vulnerable and completely unafraid to let people see her exactly as she is. The culmination of not just her recent recording sessions in 2019 but everything that came before that, including her debut EP, Not Human At All. It’s a biting, painstaking, and ultimately liberating journey into her mind and into her life as she details growing pains and all that comes with it.

From searing rock tracks to delightful indie-pop tunes, Not All Bad Or Good makes its impact in how relatable it is. Maddy Jane positions herself as a great storyteller, easily taking you into her world with her exceptional songwriting. Hailing from the small island town of Bruny Island in Tasmania, Maddy Jane is being heralded as the next big thing in indie music for a reason, and this record proves why.

To get to know her and her new record a bit more, Maddy Jane has taken us through each track and given us a bit of insight into everything that went into these very special songs. Take a read below and listen to Not All Bad Or Good here:

I’m Hearing Ya

I’m hearing ya is that ‘I’m getting what you’re saying but it’s come from a place of misunderstanding me, and you’re not hearing me at all really, nor trying to’. It’s holding your ground. Which is something I’ve had to learn to do tenfold, and I think as a female that is something we’ve learnt to have to do as well. I wanted to come across in a nonchalant way, like ‘it is what it is,’ but build that frustration through building tension, the rocky build and the intenseness bringing it to a complete climax and fall apart by the end of the song.

Perfection’s a Thing and You’re It

This song came from people in my life who were not willing to accept other people’s faults, or their own. It’s a song saying no one is perfect and we should try to love all of ourselves and others, faults and all. I’m especially proud of the pre chorus in this song, I think musically, it builds awesome tension and I love the guitar line I wrote for James in it, but it also says ‘People have tried to take me down and it’s only made me stronger’. I hope it’s an empowering and fun track with that touch of sass when you listen to it. “I’m not that old but I’m too old for this shit” says more and more every day to me.

Say You Weren’t Mine

This track is about the irony of being close to someone and then they start acting like you never were and that doesn’t feel natural at all. It’s the song I never thought I’d play live, because it’s so raw and personal but I realised it allows people to get out that anger towards people who have tried to bring you down. I played it in New Zealand to a huge arena when I supported Harry Styles and the stadium filled up with phone lights which was just incredible. I decided then I had to release it officially.

Femme

I wrote that chord progression with the little lick and thought it was a little dark, but when I started just singing over it this feminist narrative started coming out that I knew I wanted to address but didn’t know how. I wrote ‘there was a small period of time..’ and realised I used the word period and it’s in a different context but it’s the same word and it should mean as little as it does when its used in the context I used in it in the first line. That made me want to address that ‘I used the word period in a line and that was fine’. I started coming from this place of ‘we have put our foot down, said what’s wrong, but we’re not done’ and wanted to write that song that was for right now and that I’m lucky to be seeing change, but there’s no way we’re stopping at that and it’s the obvious way we’re going now.

Something Old And Something New

‘Something Old and Something New’ is about meeting someone when you’re not looking for a relationship and all the conflicting thoughts that come out of that situation. I think there’s an outdated assumption that women always want a relationship and this song’s basically like, we can not want it just as much as the boys.

The Other Day

It’s when you start kinda seeing someone and you know exactly what’s going to happen. Kinda watching someone be keen and then go cold and still going through it, knowing it’d turn and accepting that. That’s pretty much the scenario in this one. I had the idea for this song kicking around for a little while but it wasn’t until I started jamming some new songs with the whole band that this one really took its proper form. Then we jumped in the studio and started recording with Jackson and it all just fell into place really quickly.

Fuck You, I’m a Good Person

I had that title written down for a while, I didn’t know if it was a title or just a lyric but when I first wrote it down it was like, ‘oh, that’s a bit hectic’ but then I thought about it and was a hilarious contradiction that said so much, and in a beautifully Australian way. I came up with the melody and lyrics on “you go, I’ve gone, I’m awake now” and was singing that over and over again and again going ‘what is this??!’ I imagined that kind of choir of low voices and almost a gorillas “feel good inc” vibe in my head, that kind of inspired a bit of the vibe of this song, but I’m such a me way, it kind of came out old school and indie rock, and obviously a bit sarcastic. It’s the Maddy jane version of gorillas?

Crazy Jane Talks to the Bishop

This song title came from a poem that was sitting on my coffee table when I was talking to my friend on the phone. Her last name is Bishop and my second name is Jane so I said to her ‘You always call me crazy because I’m a muso and that’s crazy, I’m crazy Jane and I’m talking to the bishop!’ Unfortunately, that friendship where the title came from ended up being one that I had to walk away from. The song ended up being my plea to let me go and my side of what I went through and why I did let go. That’s what the line “You can’t save them all, that’s what unfairness is for” comes from.

Thank You and Sorry

I wrote this song in hindsight after a break-up. It’s the contradiction of being grateful for their time and thankful that it’s over, but sorry that it didn’t work out and having to move on. It’s been out for a couple of years now but it’s really the prequal to Say You Weren’t Mine, so it just fit perfectly on the album. It’s also still one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written.

Your Turn

The ending of this song reminds me of the Friends theme, we always sing ‘friends!’ on the last hit of this song. The track basically addresses gender norms about making the first move in initiating a relationship. I wrote it about how I was feeling at a point in my life where not much was happening for me romance wise. The lyrics are pretty sassy – ‘come and give it a go, your turn to make a move’ but still with a feminist edge. The line “I know I’m a badass bitch but I’m really not that scary” is a big joke of a line but it also has some truth in there.

Always Saying What They All Can’t Say

This is the most personal song on the album, and it allowed me to address some things from my past. I do address most things in my songs, they’re usually pretty raw but this one was hard to write. It’s about issues with my father and physical abuse, and I felt a responsibility to come out with that and to be able to use that to help. The most healing I do is when I get it out through song, it’s like self-therapy for me. The chorus line and title really sums up me and it’s one of my favourite lines of the album.

Not All Bad Or Good is out now via Lemon Tree Records/ Sony Music Australia. Stream/purchase here.

Introduction by Emma Jones
Image: Supplied

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Just a Robyn stan who loves going to the club.