Menajerie have today released their debut EP titled ‘Selective Deafness’. For a first release their is a lot of history to be heard here. There is experience in the notes and varied influence in the hooks. This band feels like they’ve been through a lot to get here. And they deserve this release. It is enthralling at points and memorable throughout.
Each track is a subdued journey into the songs themselves. Soul with a jam band mentality. RnB with the outlook of a bluesman. Funk with f*ck.
The core of Menajerie resides in their three mesmerizing frontwomen, each possessing the power to own a room. Gracie Mack takes charge of both the keys and vocals, while the commanding vocal prowess of Rosa Mack and the passionate presence of Mel Galletly complete the ensemble. Their collective efforts give birth to an irresistible fusion of velvety tunes and enthralling allure.
The ‘Selective Deafness’ EP, comprising eight tracks, showcases the band’s musical journey through laid-back and sophisticated soul and R&B, interwoven with alluring jazz rhythms and funk. Fittingly, the EP’s lyrics deftly straddle the line between unvarnished reality and a cheeky, tongue-in-cheek sensuality. Gracie Mack speaks on the EP:
“In releasing this first body of work into the world, we wanted to share all facets of the band. The songs traverse heartache, empowerment, frustration, deep self-reflection, and pure, silly joy. And we feel it’s a simmering blend of the messy and beautiful melting pot that is Menajerie.”
Kicking off the EP is the intoxicating ‘Stuck’, a hazy, neo-soul dreamscape exploring the cycles of toxic relationships. The track’s verses create a mesmerizing atmosphere with soft Rhodes, chorus guitar, and soulful lead vocals. The chorus breaks through the haze with a frustrated plea, building into a confrontational bridge before sinking back into its dreamy opening.
‘Holding Pattern’, the lead single, brings a cool, collected demeanour that simmers with passion and allure. It’s a boiling cauldron of emotions, a musical mirror reflecting life’s intricate patterns. ‘Dat Ass’ follows, injecting a funky groove and playful vocals with Andrew Fincher leading on the talkbox, offering a lighthearted contrast to the EP’s deeper themes.
Menajerie’s ‘Is Everything Alright’, led by the husky tones of Mel Galletly, seeks clarity in a silent partnership. Set against a gritty neo-soul groove, Mel’s heartfelt expression is textured by lush strings and stanky guitar. Rosa Mack then gently leads the emotional ballad ‘Shape You’ over a backdrop of finger-picked acoustic guitar, strings and delicate percussion, urging listeners to reflect on life’s experiences and how they shape us.
Lifting the energy, Gracie Mack takes charge with nimble melody lines and an enchanting delivery for the sweetened spread of ‘Marmalade’. Delving into the profound bonds of female friendship, the band contrasts sparse R&B verses with rhythmically intense choruses embellished by each member’s technical and skilled approach. Closing the EP out is ‘Harley’, a quick and spirited party-starter celebrating Gracie’s beloved doggo, “the best boofin’ in the whole boofin’ world.”
Leaving an indelible mark, Menajerie showcases a stunning blend of refined soul, suave rhythms, and a dash of funk while masterfully balancing gritty truth with playful passion and female empowerment.