Album Review: Maddy Jane – Not Human At All (2018 EP)

Maddy Jane appears to be on the precipice of success. At a time where Australian female singer-songwriters are on the up and up, the Tasmanian has continually evolved to a point where you just know she’s about to be in everyone’s ears and on everyone’s playlists.

On the back of 2017’s breakout single “No Other Way”, Maddy Jane has released her debut EP, the five track Not Human At All. For the uninitiated, if you had to find an artist that is a cross somewhere between the wit and drawl of Courtney Barnett, Camp Cope’s honesty and lyricism and the guitar hooks of early San Cisco, then you’d find someone that resembles Maddy Jane.

Opening track “No Other Way”, with its unique take on the mundane daily routines of living in a small rural town, is a great introductory to the EP. While I don’t come from a small town, you can definitely empathise with a slow, rural upbringing. Setting the tone for what’s to come, the chorus of “No Other Way” is as infectiously catchy as any track you’ll hear.

Next track and follow up single, “Thank You and Sorry” tones it down a little bit and settles into a more country-esque feel. Here Maddy Jane’s vocals come into their own, as the closing chorus and bridge builds to a crescendo that leaves you just a little heart broken.

“Not Human At All” speaks about the need to move onto better things as you inevitably grow up. Whether this is amplified somewhat by moving away from the niceties of a small community like Maddy Jane or just in general, you can’t be certain. As much as it is about growing up, it’s as much about finding out who you really are as a person. A coming of age song, you can already picture it sound tracking that one scene in a show where the protagonist is finally about to do that one thing the whole plot of season one has been based around. Track four comes in the shape of “Drown It Out”. Sounding most like Courtney Barnett here, the thumping yet simplistic drums help set the track apart from the three previous songs of the EP.

Closing out on “Ideal”, this is the peak of Not Human At All. A love song of sorts, it is the most frenetic and fun of the five songs. It will be an absolute pearler of a live track. The sentiment of the whole EP can be summed up in the chorus line ‘I’ll see you in the morning when everything has changed, and it’s just the same.’ Whether it is the need to grow up and grow apart, find out who you really are or being stuck in a small town where life continually stays the same, Maddy Jane’s Not Human At All is relatable indie pop at its best.

Review Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Not Human At All is out now.