[Lemon Tree Records]
Hailing from Tasmania’s Bruny Island, Maddy Jane has joined the likes of Alex Lahey and Alex the Astronaut in embracing an up-front, personal commentary style in expressing how she sees her life and the world. Following on from her EP Not Human at All comes Maddy Jane’s debut album Not All Bad or Good. The title of the indie pop/rock record reflects that life is a bit of a roller-coaster, and you have to take it as it comes.
The record kicks off with the upbeat, catchy I’m Hearing Ya. A song about communication, or the lack of it, Maddy Jane’s vocal tone brings to mind that of Courtney Barnett (though without the same level of Barnett quirkiness).
Some Ali Barter-style power pop is on show in album highlight Perfection’s A Thing and You’re It. Tackling the topic of highly critical people who cannot accept faults in others, the song starts with a subtle keyboard lead-in before glorious guitars burst forth.
Say You Weren’t Mine projects the pain of an awkward conversation. It brings weeping guitar notes and an unconventional, rushed delivery with lyrics tumbling over each other in a raw outpouring of emotion.
In the melancholy Crazy Jane Talks to the Bishop Maddy Jane reflects on a toxic friendship. This slow strummer comes with great, raw songwriting including the intriguing line, ‘Yeah you can’t save them all, That’s what unfairness is for’.
The most serious song, about sibling relationships, her father, and physical abuse, is left to the closer Always Saying What They All Can’t Say. It takes enormous courage to sing about such a fraught subject, although spelling it out in song seems to have assisted in Maddy Jane’s personal recovery.
Maddy Jane has gifted us a debut album with an engaging, unusual style of delivery. She pours out her soul in true ‘heart on her sleeve’ songwriting that is full of attitude and courage.