Jade Imagine – Basic Love

Let’s face it, if the blurb in the press release says signed to Courtney Barnett’s record label, you’re gonna take notice, well, I am anyway cos I think she’s great, and yes, I am easily swayed by this sort of thing! So, having not heard anything by these Aussies before, purely on the Courtney Barnett association, I took the plunge and immersed by eardrums into their debut album.

After a few songs in, one thing is pretty clear, they sound quite different to their label boss, Barnett! But what they do really well is mix the moody atmospherics of bands like Warpaint and Mazzy Star with elements of Sonic Youth and flashes of electro.

Hailing from Melbourne, the band relocated to the suburban coastal town of Sunshine Beach, this is an album which could’ve only emerged from the suburbs as it sums up the band’s laidback approach, and according to singer Jade McInally, the album focuses on a universal level as opposed to individual live and attempts to focus on finding the positive in the mundane, and embracing how comically repetitive life can be.

Opening track ‘Gonna Do Nothing’ is a beautiful slice of guitar moody pop, which manages to be both melodic and slightly dark at the same time, whereas ‘The News’ has singer McInally going on a mission to discover more whilst feeling overwhelmed by the state of global affairs “can’t read a paragraph without feeling sore, want to be educated a little bit more”

Jade Imagine’s songs all have a dark gentility about them, ‘Remote Control’ delves into more of an electro vibe, whilst still maintaining the mid paced darkness to them, whereas ‘I’ll Take You There’ goes all Fleetwood Mac in the middle with its gorgeous vocal harmonies and long guitar solos ‘The Weekend’ is one of the standout tracks on here and reminds me a bit of The Breeders at their most subtle, it’s a bit faster than most of the other tracks on here.

‘Cut Me Off’ has McNally stating “I only ever wanted to be your friend, we’re just two fragile human beings” over a backdrop of atmospheric guitars, which delve into Mogwai or Sonic Youth territory.

Jade Imagine’s debut has a stunning ethereal atmospheric quality about it, managing to be moody as well as melodic at the same time.  It’s easy to see what Courtney Barnett saw in them.  An enchanting debut.

Jade Imagine: Basic Love – Out Now (Milk Records / Marathon Records)


From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.