After two years of heavy touring and sold-out shows, Tasmanian indie rocker Maddy Jane has taken advantage of this time in isolation to chat about her debut album Not all Bad or Good.
With a five-track EP, a regular spot on triple j’s airways, a place on huge arena tours supporting the likes of Harry Styles, Catfish and the Bottlemen and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a string of incredible, raw singles such as ‘People’, ‘No Other Way’, ‘Thank You and Sorry’ and most recently ‘Perfection’s a Thing and You’re It’, Maddy Jane’s honest lyrics, captivating songwriting and unique brand of indie pop-rock have gathered her nation-wide attention over the last few years.
Finally dropping this week, her much-anticipated album is a cathartic release for this rising star.
“The album title being Not All Bad or Good, for me that sums it up perfectly. I’m not all bad or good. Life is not all bad or good. You’re not all bad or good. There’s always contradicting elements that make up a whole,” she explains.
“One of the last songs I wrote was actually ‘Perfection’s a Thing and You’re It’ and that encapsulates the whole album.
“It 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.”
This level of contemplation runs deep throughout the album, as Maddy deals with themes of human interaction, independence, psychology, feminism, and even violence, giving fans an intimate window into her personal life.
“All of these songs are personal experiences that I’ve had over the last few years and are about what I’ve learned and what I’ve gone through. It addresses everything from figuring out how to be equal and feminism, to how you interact with your friends, and all the things that you figure out within those relationships.”
Alongside ‘Perfection’s a Thing and You’re It’, the 11 track album features previously released singles ‘Say You Weren’t Mine’, ‘Something Old And Something New’ and ‘The Other Day’, as well as one of Maddy’s earlier tracks, ‘Thank You and Sorry’, lifted from her 2018 EP Not Human At All.
“It’s a song that goes with all of the other songs on the album,” Maddy explains of the inclusion. “’Say You Weren’t Mine’ is kind of like the sequel to ‘Thank You and Sorry’. ‘Thank You and Sorry’ was the song I wrote that was all about taking the high ground and accepting the breakup, but then ‘Say You Weren’t Mine’ is about saying ‘no screw you, I’m angry and you don’t get to just pretend that I don’t exist anymore’. I felt it needed to be on the album because it’s part of the whole journey.”
And while the album in its entirety offers a candid insight into Maddy’s strength of character, ‘Always Saying What They All Can’t Say’ stands out as a sombre yet powerful closing statement, with Maddy’s softly spoken vocals screaming vulnerability as she addresses issues with her father.
“There was a once-off physical abuse and I didn’t know how to address that or even if I was going to write a song about that,” Maddy reveals of the final track. “‘Always Saying What They All Can’t Say’ comes from the perspective of thanking my little brother for being there that night and stopping him; that’s kind of the good thing out of the situation.
“Every song absolutely has something specific that I could draw on, but then in the end they come out as something that can also be adapted to a few things. I’ve written this song specifically about that situation, but it adapts to so much more of my life. The chorus is ‘I’m just always saying what they all can’t say’, which is more broadly about how I’m one that can come out with it and will push myself in those situations.
“It’s very personal and it is a bit scary as well that they all do have those really direct and personal meanings. You always worry about coming across as bad or wrong, but that’s the whole thing… it’s not all bad or good.”
Recorded at The Grove Studios in NSW and produced by Jackson Barclay and Maddy herself, Not All Bad or Good is a token of Maddy’s musical growth and maturity. Her honest, empowering and straight to the point songwriting combined with her unmatched vocal talent has resonated with fans young and old, as she paves her way forward in this messy, confusing world.
Not All Bad Or Good is out now on Lemon Tree Records through Sony Music Entertainment Australia. Check it out below.