Taking centre stage with three ensnaring female vocalists, Menajerie is a Meanjin/ Brisbane-based neo-soul outfit, who have announced their debut EP ‘Selective Deafness’ (out September 29). Dripping with heated charm and a clawing passion, they are teasing the EP with the slow-burning lead single ‘Holding Pattern’, which was released on September 1.
Ahead of the EP release, the fine folk of Menajerie kindly tackled a dozen questions we recently swung their way.
1 What led this band down the neo-soul road?
The vocals have been inspired by the beginning girl groups of soul like the Supremes and the Ronettes. And many of us in the band are trained in jazz as well as loving hip hop. So that combination of training and influences naturally culminated in our songs feeling very “neo-soul”
2 What are some neo-soul albums you’re all into?
Little Ghost by Moonchild, Free nationals by the Free Nationals, Choose your Weapon by Hiatus Kaiyote & Mamas gun by Erykah Badu
3 What are the main tools you use in your music making?
Pussy magic, spells and healthy boundaries
4 What was your first band t-shirt?
Andrew’s is our favourite. It was Morrison Hotel by The Doors.
5 If money was no issue, what would a Menajerie concert look like?
Ooh it would be a pretty big production! We’d have beautifully handmade jumpsuits made for each member. Aside from the best sounding music gear, we love working with creatively aligned artists from different mediums so there’d be lots of visual art as well as highly trained dancers. And without money woes we could give the proceeds to a local charity of our choosing. Oh what a dream.
6 What’s your latest recording?
We’ve just release ‘Holding Pattern’ which is the next single off of our upcoming debut EP ‘Selective Deafness’. The title ‘Selective Deafness’ comes actually comes from a lyric in Holding Pattern.
7 Most memorable gig you have ever played?
That would be Jungle Love Festival 2022. There was torrential rain and the main stage had to shut down on the first day. Just as we were meant to play, the stage reopened and we wobbled our way through the mud to the stage. Just as we sung our first notes, the clouds parted and a ray of sun lit the audience. It made the whole thing feel very right and special.
8 What would be your worst stage nightmare?
Every band member getting food poisoning on stage, at the same time.
9 What would you like your music career to look like in 5 years time?
International tours, collaborating with amazing artists and making enough money to fun a Menajerie Mansion
10 What would be your dream collaboration?
Collaborating with Australian neo-soul icons like Hiatus Kaiyote would be amazing. It would also be fun to work with more instrumental focused musicians like Louis Cole or Vulfpeck.
11 What would you consider to be your greatest musical achievement to date?
Starting and nurturing this band
12 What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
We have our EP listening party at the venue Can You Keep A Secret on Thursday Sept 21st. And our EP launch gig booked at Arcana on Friday October 20th
MORE ABOUT MENAJERIE
The heart and soul of Menajerie is embodied in its three captivating frontwomen. Primed with their spellbinding abilities, they are led by the compelling Gracie Mack on keys and vocals, powerhouse vocalist Rosa Mack, and the fiery Mel Galletly. Oozing sass, the three weave together their silky melodies and poignant lyrics as they get wrapped up in irresistible sultry grooves.
Having awed audiences on stage at Jungle Love Festival, Fortitude Valley Fiesta, and supporting Sex On Toast, plus so much more, Menajerie have already achieved a lot. With their previous singles, ‘Stuck’ and ‘Time’, they have left audiences craving more, and now, they are ready to unveil their debut EP ‘Selective Deafness’.
The 8-track debut EP ultimately allows the band to expose their musical odyssey made up of laid-back and sophisticated soul, coloured by alluring rhythms and anti-gravity funk. At the heart of it all lies lyrics that gracefully navigate the line between unfiltered, gritty reality and a flirtatiously witty, tongue-in-cheek sensuality.
Gracie Mack eloquently encapsulates the essence of ‘Selective Deafness’ by stating, “This debut EP traverses all aspects of the creative human experience through introspection, humour, and grief and showcases the band’s eclectic musical experiences.”
The upcoming single ‘Holding Pattern’ dives deeper into the exasperation of being ensnared in a self-made cycle. Harnessing the EP’s title within the lyric “Selective deafness, but now you know,” the track fuses neo-soul and hip-hop harmonies with a magnetic undercurrent of grooves.
The song’s confrontational lead vocals simmer with passion and allure, while its cool and calm demeanour ultimately crescendos into an electrifying harmony layered over a gritty shuffle. Intoxicating and bold, ‘Holding Pattern’ is a boiling cauldron of emotions, a musical mirror reflecting the complexities of life’s patterns.
Be embraced by the divine tones of Menajerie as they turn up the heat with ‘Holding Pattern’ ahead of their debut EP ‘Selective Deafness’ on September 29.