Bursting onto the scene like a reverse smokebomb, Adelaide chanteuse MANE has arrived with her debut EP House of Horror.
In fact, MANE is the artist formerly known as Paige Renee Court, who’s been gigging around town for the past few years, stealthily building her fan base and momentum.
The change in name accompanied a change in musical direction. The moniker seems a natural choice, given Court’s flowing locks, but when we ask her, there’s a little more to it.
‘MANE was a bit of a nickname when I was younger,’ she says.
‘I was sitting on changing my artist name for a while, and the new music is quite different to what I was previously doing. It felt fitting to start releasing music under the MANE banner.’
MANE’s new angle is a little bit sultry, a little bit jazzy and a little atmospheric, pulling threads of Fiona Apple, Lorde and Peggy Lee into a cozy, warm vibe.
MANE herself describes the new EP as ‘haunting’ with ‘blues elements that bring together the sound’.
Here’s a peek at the first single, ‘Bitter’, which was written in just a few minutes, about someone who’d caused trouble for a friend.
MANE is largely self-taught, being inspired to write her own music after playing around with covers, starting out with Lisa Mitchell’s ‘Neapolitan Dreams’, and taking long-term inspiration from Bob Dylan. At the moment, she’s loving the new Avalanches album Wildflower.
For MANE, songwriting is a pretty fluid process.
‘Some songs I’ll write as a poem before I even consider a melody,’ she says, ‘while others I’ll write with a melody in mind with my guitar.
‘There’s no real structure I keep to when I write songs, they just come when they come.
‘One of the songs on the EP, “Valley Of Doubt”, was actually finished whilst in the studio recording it. That was fun because I had a production idea in mind, and once we fleshed that out I felt more inspired to complete the song.’
So with her first EP ticked off the to-do list, what can we expect next from MANE?
The answer is predictable, but exactly what we wanted to hear:
‘Hopefully another single later in the year and more touring’, she says.