If Gen Z has a “sound” – what grunge was to Gen X, or EDM to Millennials – it has but to emerge. The pop albums which have tried to seize the spirit of youthful malaise over the previous few years have been remarkably various in tone: Lorde sought communion with nature on her pastel-toned 2000s throwback Solar Power, whereas Olivia Rodrigo bemoaned her “get it on teenage dream” to the sounds of glittery emo and pop rock on her debut album Sour. On their sophomore album Right here Comes All people, Western Australian indie stars Spacey Jane take a distinct route, utilizing vibrant, jangly indie rock to discover Gen Z’s fears round Covid and the local weather disaster.
Arriving two years after the discharge of their shock blockbuster debut Daylight – the Aria gold-certified album that spawned the Hottest 100 runner-up Booster Seat – this album is the results of the four-piece’s aware try to grapple with meaty, hard-to-discuss generational anxieties: “I needed to mirror on the final 5 [to] eight years … Covid gave me time to not simply sit and take into consideration myself, however be extra outward-looking in some methods,” front man Caleb Harper instructed Triple J. “I needed to the touch on that as a lot as potential.”
“As a lot as potential”, on this context, although, nonetheless appears to imply “little or no”. Though it might try to talk to a common younger Australian expertise, Right here Comes All people’s sights nonetheless appear mounted intently upon the navel; Harper’s consolation zone is expressing imprecise heartbreak or imprecise disaffection, and he virtually by no means leaves it. A lot of the songs right here hit the identical beats time and again: their protagonists continuously coming down and combating with soon-to-be-exes; driving round blearily considering of some amorphous “her” and hoping issues will change tomorrow, however figuring out they received.
There’s nothing mistaken with that, after all, however Harper’s songwriting is usually painfully sophomoric, leaning closely on trite truisms and uninspiring turns of phrase. Right here Comes All people is called for the working title of Yankee Lodge Foxtrot, Wilco’s beloved early-2000s indie report, and you need to snicker on the sheer hubris of the selection: there’s a blithe simplicity to this report that’s miles faraway from that album’s provocative darkness, its blackened wit.
On Clear My Automotive, Harper is “nonetheless seeing your identify within the sundown”, attempting to “fill this you-shaped gap in my coronary heart”; Numerous Nothing sketches a portrait of a pair who “fall in like to fall proper out, and break aside with no sound.” Pulling By way of, the report’s glib try at an uplifting finale, accommodates lyrics worthy of a high school commencement speech: “If it seems like failure, it’s in all probability good for you.”
These are songs about rising pains that lack all of the awkwardness and invigorating pressure that comes with rising up – the type of spice and urgency that made Hatchie’s Giving The World Away and Rodrigo’s Bitter, current albums that tackled comparable subjects with out resorting to this stage of cliche, so interesting.
Sometimes, Harper will contact a uncooked nerve in a means that’s type of outstanding, compared to the remainder of the album. On the virtually emo-leaning Haircut, he provides a real pearler: “I tattoo my arm simply to show that I’m altering, however I can’t even idiot myself.” There’s a devastating sense of inertia captured in that one line, a world of ambient stress and alienation that’s extra vivid than anything right here. The remainder of the report might have used such specifics; as a substitute, the road is a single lifeboat surrounded by huge ocean.
Right here Comes All people is hardly helped by the truth that, musically, it feels like so many different information launched by Australian indie bands up to now decade. In a playlist, its songs would slot neatly alongside hits by Little Pink and San Cisco and the John Metal Singers and Hungry Youngsters of Hungary. However its overwhelming cleanness, its profound lack of any type of chaos or discordance, matches the emotional content material; this can be a report that slips from reminiscence freely and simply, so platitudinal are its lyrics – much less the sound of Gen Z than a shrug, an try at empathy that evokes little greater than apathy.