In the cover art for Spacey Jane's album, four figures stand on a tan ground with a large light on them, causing them to cast long shadows.
This image is from the official album cover of “Here Comes Everybody,” owned by AWAL Recordings Ltd.

An ambitious project is exactly what listeners require after such an explosive start from Australia-based indie rock band Spacey Jane — perhaps a big ask for a band still developing their sound and identity. Here Comes Everybody, their sophomore album, is blooming and cathartic, grappling with the meaty, complex anxieties of a generation in a complicated world. In this album, though, Spacey Jane trips over itself trying to find new depth and meaning where there is none, and is saved only by stellar instrumentation and production. 

The album’s first track, “Sitting Up,” opens with the pulse of muted guitar strings that cascade into a swell of colors and textures. It’s dynamic and fluid and is certainly a strong opener to the album. “Sitting Up” is written for young people searching for their place in an uncertain world — whose lives are changing with the weather, for better or for worse. It’s about feeling your youth slipping through your fingers, only to be replaced with the burden of your future creeping up slowly. Cliché? Perhaps, but youthful verve and vigor make up for it tenfold.

From the first guitar lick, “Lunchtime” excites. The track is full and warm, with gritty undertones breaking through the relative calm of the verse. The way that Caleb Harper and Ashton Hardman-LeCornu dynamically utilize quieter instrumentation in tandem with in-your-face guitar riffs is masterful. The song feels like waking up with a blistering hangover and beating back the anxieties that come with it. I find myself coming back to this track after each listen-through of the album; Jangly electric guitar that is so dear to Australian indie music makes this track an instant favorite. Though a bit of an outlier on the record as a whole, “Lunchtime” is one of the more promising tracks, delving into new soundscapes and vivid lyricism that one can only hope Spacey Jane will explore in future projects.

“Lots of Nothing” and “Not What You Paid For” rely on swimming synths and simple drum fills that ebb and flow in the mix. These tracks are quintessential indie guitar songs that could be lost in the mass of similar songs in the genre. Harper’s vocal delivery here is the star of the show that allows Spacey Jane to be plucked from the multitudes — his voice’s timbre and warmth create new depth, masking the shallowness of the lyrics. Harper soars above the rest of the track, fighting tooth and nail for listeners to see him, to know him. 

Past the halfway mark, Here Comes Everybody begins to stumble — each track feels like the one before, where the protagonist sulks around in a daze mourning some unnamed “her” or declares how much he dislikes himself without attempting a change for the better. This isn’t to say that themes of mental health and lost love should remain untouched — plenty of indie pop artists have managed to capture that same youthful malaise in ways that are far more enticing. For Spacey Jane, though, heartbreak and loss seem vague and surface-level — the lyrics are shallowly written and shallowly felt. There is an uninteresting simplicity to this record that makes it drone on, seemingly endless — uninspired turns of phrase and the same verse-chorus-verse structure make this a really disappointing project. Stale truisms abound in “Head Above”: “It isn’t love if you’re pretending” and “I don’t have to listen to this / Unless you are gonna tell me sorry.” Among the ranks of the almost eye-rollingly artificial is “It’s Been a Long Day”: “A little unhappy / And severely underpaid / Staring at stop signs / Waiting for them to say go.” The record is mopey without an ounce of true feeling or verity.

The record closes out with “Pulling Through,” which is special mostly for Peppa Lane and Harper’s vocals sitting hand in hand on the verse. It’s a careful articulation of overcoming grief and seeing something through to the end. “Pulling Through” is a cliché message that ties the whole record together — you will pull through, you are stronger than whatever is getting you down, etc. — and doesn’t do much to lift the album out of the worn-out melodrama that plagues it. 

Thematically, Here Comes Everybody leaves much to be desired. Confessional songwriters frequently dive headlong into writing about mental health or coming-of-age struggles, and Harper is no stranger to that. Addiction, heartbreak and fear of the future are relatable and ever-present in our lives, but the lyricism on this album threatens to dip into vapid truisms and platitudes. Still, in moments of vivid lyrical clarity, one can see all that Spacey Jane could become if they were only to take that leap of faith. 

Here Comes Everybody’s saving grace lies in its polished production and instrumentation. Thumping bass by Lane moves in tandem with Kieran Lama on the drum kit, providing a sturdy foundation for the rest to balance upon. Where lyrics seem stretched-thin and overworked, Spacey Jane’s full band sound creates tension and relief, keeping the record fresh and listenable. 

Although Spacey Jane needs to step out of their comfort zone and say something new to the array of listeners that they have acquired in the past two years, it is indisputable that they have something special. They are no longer Australia’s best-kept secret, as they have wormed their way out of the periphery and into our direct line of vision. Despite the rocky ground of sameness that they find themselves poised to enter, Here Comes Everybody leaves me hopeful that their lyricism will continue to grow to match the prowess of their musical composition.

I wanted to love this album so badly — when taken at face value, Here Comes Everybody is fast-paced and enjoyable, making it the perfect record for fans to enjoy this summer — but it leaves something to be desired in terms of depth. I find myself anxiously awaiting the next addition to their discography, hoping that they’ll finally show us what they’re made of. 

Daily Arts Writer Claire Sudol can be reached at