“I’m not into bullshit anyway,” sings Maddy Jane on the summery snarl of ‘The Other Day’ and that attitude runs rampant through her heart-trembling debut album. Taking no prisoners, ‘Not All Bad Or Good’ sees the Bruny Island native telling tales of hurt, confusion, anger and everything in between as she shares her beat-up heart with the world. Fearless, shameless and brilliant, nothing is off-limits.
The opening stride of ‘I’m Hearing Ya’ builds with a frantic energy, a misunderstanding spiralling out of control as guitars and vocals trade blows before the slacker pop bounce of ‘Perfection’s A Thing And You’re It’ sits you in front of a mirror, all jagged barbs and sarcastic takedowns to fire you up.
Maddy tells intimate stories with her music but time and time again, they’ll carry a lightning crackle of a lyric that will find you captioning Instagram posts and making sense of your world gone mad. “I’m not old but I’m too old for this shit,” she sings, which might as well be the tagline for these last few years, while the soaring “I’m not trying to be, I’m just being / I’m not any different, don’t care what you’re seeing,” on the midnight glow of ‘Femme’ offers resistance in a world where “tampons are a luxury item and my opinion is still a waste of time.”
‘Not All Bad Or Good’ wrestles with power, the neon strut of ‘Fuck You I’m A Good Person’ erupts with realisation and self-confidence while the swaying, slow burn of ‘Say You Weren’t Mine’ shows vulnerability as the track bristles with unfinished business and open wounds.
Elsewhere, the bathroom mirror confession of ‘Something Old And Something New’ isn’t sure what it wants. Feeling borrowed and blue, there’s no resolution but Maddy does offer warming comfort for anyone else who’s been caught in the middle.
The fuzzy dream of ‘Thank You And Sorry’ provides a moment of courageous sincerity as it finds peace in the post-storm, post-breakup calm and would be the album’s most moving moment if not for the epic space and stuttered guitar solos of closing track ‘Always Saying What They All Can’t’. Addressing gang mentality and family ties, it’s a track about standing up for others and doing the right thing, no matter how hard that might be. Doused in pain but thankful and resolute, it’s not so much a call to arms but rather, a call for care.
Maddy Jane’s debut album is a rough and ready collection of tracks set to inspire. With the power to mend broken hearts or shatter them all over again, it’s a wild ride of smirking fury and tiny glances as the songs tackle everything from lust to childhood trauma. Small-town claustrophobia mixes with a want for the wider world in a debut that chases dreams but never loses touch with reality. At times she plays the joker, but on ‘Not All Bad Or Good’, Maddy Jane is always ace.
- Release date: May 1
- Record label: Lemon Tree Records/Sony Music