Rising South Australian pop-punk act Chelsea Manor have unveiled their latest energetic single, with “Better Then” arriving as their first taste of new music since last year’s “Shakin'”.
Having previously appeared as an instrumental in the Australian film Sweethurt (Bendy Spoons Productions, 2020), the track’s origins stretch back close to a decade, with vocalist and guitarist Bianca Hendy having written the song directly after leaving high school.
“At the time I felt as though I was a pretty difficult person to be around,” she explains. “I’ve always felt pretty poorly of myself, like I was too emotional, constantly misunderstood, take things too seriously and not that fun to be around.”
Although the track began as something of an apology for her perceived failings, Bianca explains that she soon forgot about the song, eventually revisiting it during the creative process for Chelsea Manor.
“It’s funny, what began as an apology to others ended up becoming an apology to myself,” she continues. “The more I spoke to people about my experiences or apologised to some others, I started to realise how hard I had become on myself.”
Ultimately, “Better Then” also serves as something of a reminder to the listener to ensure they’re keeping the importance of their own wellbeing a top priority, and ensuring that one’s own happiness isn’t sacrificed in the pursuit of pleasing others.
“Since I was little, all I ever wanted was to make sure everybody and anybody was happy, even the wrong kind of people, so I found myself in a lot of shitty situations, that looking back now, I could have avoided,” Bianca adds.
“That’s time you don’t get back, and every now and then I wish I could back as myself now. I know I had some great people around me that were doing their best, and I wish I appreciated that more. So if anything, if you’ve got someone to say sorry to or wether you owe yourself an apology, this one is for you.”
Featuring production by Tyson Fish and Aaron Damon, and mastering by the great Forrester Savell, the track also begins with a mix of fretless bass and guitar spearheaded by Ivan Heenan, who also picks up the fretless bass once again for a masterful tapping solo during the bridge.
The first taste of new music from Chelsea Manor in close to a year, the Mount Gambier trio have been looking ahead to the release of their debut EP, with more news on that front expected to arrive in the coming months.
Chelsea Manor’s “Better Then” is officially released on May 21st.