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Interview: Caleb Harper of Spacey Jane fame chats Summer Sounds & Hottest 100

We chatted to Perth native, Caleb Harper of Spacey Jane fame on the success of their debut album and their upcoming Summer Sounds gig in Adelaide.

Though 2020 was almost unanimously a year of struggle and setbacks in the creative world, for Spacey Jane it was a year of firsts and tops.

Debuting their first studio album Sunlight in June last year, the band which consists of Caleb Harper, Kieran Lama, Ashton Hardman-Le Cornu, and Peppa Lane, experienced the whirlwind of releasing music, touring, and topping the Triple J Hottest 100.

For Caleb, “the album was far more beneficial and important than” they thought it would be.

Any preconceived notions of success couldn’t compare to the absolute hit that Sunlight came to be, proven when four of their tracks made the Triple J Hottest 100, and the number two spot with Booster Seat, right behind veritable music veterans, Glass Animals with Heat Waves.

“We are so lucky to be in WA, I don’t want to take it for granted or talk it up too much but we’ve sort of been living as if COVID doesn’t exist,” Caleb says.

“Gigs came back in July, with the two square metres rule so if you pick the right venues you feel like you’re playing to a full house anyway, it’s allowed us to keep doing this and to keep being a band full time.”

The ability to tour Western Australia alongside the album undeniably kept the band afloat, as did the success of Booster Seat.

Unlike their usual process, Booster Seat was written over a long period of time. For Caleb and the band, the intent was to capture melancholy and give it space in a song.

“We all loved that song a lot but we didn’t think it would catch on the way it did,” Caleb says.

On paper, it seems unsurprising that the song resonated with young people everywhere when it discusses themes of anxiety, nostalgia for an out-of-grasp youth, the escapist and traveller culture that we have had to put on the back burner “thanks to the obvious”, and a carefully articulated melancholy that’s easy to relate to.

“What I wanted to capture is that emptiness that you’re feeling and put that into the music, I guess to feel a bit uncomfortable but in a weird way it ends up being quite comforting,” he says with a sheepish laugh.

At its heart, Booster Seat is a road trip song, made to be belted out on an open road with a few close friends.

Which is exactly how Adelaide crowds will feel when Spacey Jane, Ball Park Music, and Adelaide native, Jess Day, hit the stages at Adelaide’s innovative pod festival, Summer Sounds.

“Adelaide is going to be our first show outside of WA since early March, and we’re excited to play at Summer Sounds because that’s potentially going to be the norm outside of WA,” Caleb says.

“We love Ball Park Music and playing with them… and Adelaide crowds are always lovely.”

The trio have proven to be so popular that, after their first show sold out almost immediately, were granted a second gig.

And while Spacey Jane is in Adelaide, you might catch them at Pirate Life Brewery, which Caleb tells me is a likely spot they’ll hit up.

Otherwise, for a guaranteed viewing of the band, grab one of the final tickets for their Thursday 28 January Summer Sounds gig alongside Ball Park Music and Jess Day, at moshtix.com.

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