There is something deeply special about MANE. The enigmatic artist with the big guttural pipes whose music is in possession of such grandeur, it commands attention and, no matter what successes are offered along the way, it deserves more. The South Australian artist exploded onto the scene a few short years ago with ‘Chasing Butterflies’, a breakout track that quickly clocked up over two million streams and hit the top ten of the Spotify Viral charts. Since then, it's been all go - she's released a debut EP and more singles and played on festival stages at Spin Off, Groovin The Moo, BIGSOUND, Big Pineapple as well as alongside the likes of Matt Corby, Ball Park Music, Yungblud, Meg Mac, The Jungle Giants, The Wombats and The Kooks.
Her second EP - Caught In The Undertow - is out today and, once again, is a badass masterclass in flipping pain into art, weaving emotive narrative into captivating melodies and delving deep into themes of love, hope and healing. Make no mistake, these songs are huge, -- they might be laced with MANE's personal pain and struggles, but somehow they still leave the listener feeling uplifted. Intentional or not, the sheer power and vulnerability of her vocal performance throughout the songs, particularly the choruses, just soar and seemingly made for stadiums, they're that big! While the pain in MANE's lyrics are her own, she has struck clear universality which lands much like a certain Florence Welch.
'We Run', the EP’s lead single, debuted earlier this week and is a queer anthem encapsulating inclusive love. The delicate track closes the EP, yet it's the heartbeat of the piece as a whole, dedicated to MANE's fiancé and their unwavering bond amidst personal struggles.
MANE reflects: “Each song on this EP was written during what has and continues to be a very tormenting/painful season of my life. A season that I continue to struggle to put into words. Because of that, I wanted each song on this EP to be focussed around the love and healing moments that kept/keep me afloat during trying times. It’s a reminder to myself and those listening that sadness and hope can both coexist. I think hope is a currency we all crave to continue to move forward in life…. so finding it (in whatever capacity that might look like for you) is pretty essential to the human experience.”
MANE took some time out of her busy release day schedule to answer a few quick questions...
Hi Mane! Firstly, a HUGE congratulations on the release of Caught In The Undertow. Releasing music into the world is no small deal - what does this particular group of songs mean to you?
Thank you soooo much! It’s strange because these songs have existed for so long behind the
scenes but the meaning behind each one has never changed despite the evolution from demo
to finished product and the time in between. I intentionally wanted the EP to focus on the
moments of hope and healing and the love in my life rather than the negative experiences that
impact me day to day. Hope is such an essential currency to the human experience.
Musicians like you are the BRAVEST! You don't shy away from raw and real lyrics, are
you ever concerned about revealing too much? I'd be terrified.
I always feel pretty vulnerable releasing new music because it can be quite personal and scary
at times to share things that I often struggle to articulate in general conversation. At the same
time it’s a nice little outlet for those feelings to have a place in the world. What's really special is
when people connect with it and share their stories with me as a result, even if it’s just one
person it’s just kinda awesome that something you create and is personal to you can also take
on meaning to someone else and help them in their journey whatever that looks like!
'Flowers' is gorgeous, such a flawless EP opener. As you've been touring like crazy this
year, do I hear a hint of homesickness in there and throughout the EP?
Oh for sure - Home to me is my safe space and my safe people, when i’m outside of those safe
and loving spaces i find my anxiety is heightened.
Hope is such an essential currency to the human experience.
Now for a personal question - please indulge me and reveal something on the EP that you personally adore, something no one else might know about or hear, but you something for which you have a quiet internal cheer when you hear it?
Quick side note - I love this question! Pretty much in every song off the EP there is a nature-like
soundscape going on, some more subtle than others but it’s there! In a lot of my songwriting i
often use earthy adjectives or elements to describe a moment or a feeling so when we were
making the record we kept coming back to these nature visuals (i think it was episodes of ‘Our
Planet’ on Netflix) we would play on the screen when we listened to the songs through the
recording process - we wanted the world of the EP to feel light and airy and open in the same
way sitting amongst nature and scenery on a beautiful day can warm the soul.
I first caught your live show at BIGSOUND a few years ago. As an artist, you seemed to
arrive so fully-formed - how has the show progressed since and what's left on your career
to-do list that's still important that you tick off?
That's very kind of you to say! The show has definitely gotten a lot more tighter since then,
especially after a three month stint in the US playing shows. Playing live is my happy place so I'm
always working on how we can better it sonically, performance wise and most importantly
vocally. I mean, the pipe dream is to be able to play shows at staple venues all around the world
with my best mates, with confidence that people will come see us play. I’m also itching to make
a full album, That’s next i reckon!
As we all happen to be music lovers first, slinging records or making music second, what does the vinyl format mean to you both as an artist and as a human?
Vinyl just feels really timeless ya know? I love having a vinyl collection of my own and being
able to just chuck one on in my living room with a cup of tea and listen. It feels more personal
and I think it allows people to experience a body of work in all its intention from the artist. I’m
usually listening to music in transit whether that be on a bus or a drive in the car and, although I
love how accessible it is to be able to do that via streaming services, it doesn't compare to
physically getting your hands on a vinyl from an artist you love and then sitting down and really
listening. They also make excellent birthday presents, you can't go wrong!
What are your top three spins for a quiet night at home?
Tough call, but at the moment I've been listening to Middle Kids', 'Lost Friends' - great album,
great band! Thom Yorke - 'Suspirium', No Mono, 'Islands Part 1' and i’m throwing in another
for good measure as it’s been on high rotation this year - Boygenius,'The Record.'
Thanks heaps for your time, Mane. Best of luck with the EP - it's top shelf - keep going and hope to see you in Brisbane soon.
Thanks so much for chatting with me - appreciate the time and support!
MANE'S CAUGHT IN THE UNDERTOW EP OUT NOW
Order vinyl :
MANE | CAUGHT IN THE UNDERTOW EP TOUR | AUSTRALIA
OCTOBER 21ST - THE GRACE EMILY HOTEL, TARNDANYA/ADELAIDE, SA - TICKETS HERE
NOVEMBER 10TH - THE PENNY BLACK, NAARM/MELBOURNE, VIC - FREE SHOW
NOVEMBER 23RD - THE ROYAL BONDI, EORA/SYDNEY, NSW - FREE SHOW
NOVEMBER 26TH - NORTH GONG HOTEL, DHARAWAL LAND/WOLLONGONG, NSW - FREE SHOW