In early 2020, Jade Imagine band leader Jade McInally was preparing to begin preparation for her band’s second album, aiming to build on the success of their debut, Basic Love, which came out the previous year.

Then the pandemic hit, and like so many other musicians, McInally had to contend with a newly imposing obstacle to making her sophomore album.

It’s lucky, then, that the additional wait seems to have had only positive effects on Jade Imagine. Cold Memory, which finally came out late last month, does what all good bands should do on a second album and sonically builds on the sound of their debut.

McInally and her band – Madeline Lo-Booth, Marcel Tussie and Tim Harvey – sound musically refreshed on Cold Memory, expanding on the indie rock of Basic Love with flourishes from an impressive array of genres.

The title track perfectly encapsulates this growth: beginning in a brooding manner initially, full of unsettling stabs of noise, McInally’s voice sounding weary, it then explodes into vibrant art-pop, an enthralling chorus blessed with lush sounds.

Such atmospheric twists are commonplace throughout the record, feeling like a reflection of the band’s ever-increasing confidence.

To celebrate the Melbourne band’s multi-layered second album, we got McInally to take us through each track on Cold Memory one by one, with the musician revealing many thoughtful meanings behind her songwriting.

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If you want to play the tracks on Cold Memory played live, Jade Imagine will be taking part in Milk! Records’ 10th birthday parties next month, alongside the likes of Courtney Barnett, Hachiku, Jen Cloher and Liz Stringer (tickets here).

Jade Imagine’s Cold Memory is out now via Milk! Records.

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‘I Guess We’ll Just Wait’

The album opens with the song that took me the longest to write. The lyrics came slowly and I cried a lot in the process; I was writing from a really potent feeling. This song is a plea for self-compassion – go easy, most things are out of your control. You’re doing so well!

‘Instinct That I Wanna Know’

Based on a true story that always seems to happen with my bandmates and close friends – when I’m thinking about them and they text me! When stuff like that happens I feel like everything’s going to be ok because there must be a higher being?

‘Back and Forth’

I wrote this for someone close to me who was on the verge of having a mental breakdown. You’ve got to remember that whatever shit you think you’re going through, if you knew what the other person was dealing with, you would probably keep your own problems, so be kind!

‘Cold Memory’

The grass is always greener on the other side. Sometimes I feel like no matter what you do the outcome will be the same, so maybe it’s ok to chill and be more optimistic?


Appreciating the simpler things in life – the feeling of cooking a good meal, having a bath, lying on the carpet naked.

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‘Down to Us’

I’ve been told that the reason I hate being rushed is because I’m a capricorn. I think it’s just because I’m a small town girl living in a big world and I need time to think. So take that time, I say! “Hold on, while I get to know you better, it’s taken so long to put it all together”.

‘Get Light’

I’ve lowkey been dealing with chronic illness for a while now, and yet I always seem to have advice for other people like, “don’t worry so much it’s gonna make you sick!” I need to take my own advice! Get Light!

Stress and worry can truly change your health. I’m saying this to you just as much as to myself, but it’s just not worth making yourself sick from worry. 

‘Stay In Ur Zone’

If this song had a film clip it would be a big happy cartoon character just walking down the street with big strides, proud and happy. This song feels like a big group hug to me. It’s saying to just keep doing what you’re doing. If it feels good to you, why change it? 

‘Grow Taller’

Being open to meeting new people, without judging first about if you’ll like them or not. That can be a transformative experience and in turn you end up learning more about yourself.


No, it’s not about drugs, although who am I to tell you how to interpret the meaning of these songs? This track started as a poem to see how I could tease out the different meanings of the word ‘Lines’. It turned into a song that helped me process a traumatic time in my life, and learn where my personal boundaries were.

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