Track by Track:
Still Spinning - Now We're Living
Words by James Lynch
Friday 4th November, 2022
Following the release of Now We’re Living in late September, we caught up with Still Spinning to dig into the immersive and melancholic jangle-pop that makes up their striking debut album.
The latest endeavour from Melbourne songwriter Mino Peric, following his work as vocalist/guitarist of No Sister and a brief stint making ambient music under his own name, Still Spinning finds the multi-instrumentalist exploring lush and enthralling guitar-pop. Simultaneously leaning into the intricacies of the jangle style while maintaining a to-the-point pop edge, his debut album Now We’re Living plays as an evocative window into the new project.

For the most part across these nine tracks, ‘Now We’ve Living’ builds on a tapestry of minimalist sounds - crystalline guitar chimes, ambling beats and unassuming vocal hooks - that expand into richly emotive and nuanced atmospheres for each song to live within. As explained in the following track by track, the instrumental moments across the album seem to best showcase this, Mino’s expression within his guitar work often adding more than his lyrics need to; be that in the cloudy ‘Cavalier’, the restlessness of ‘Your New Career’ or the buoyant and unravelling ‘Runner’s Blues’. However, tracks like ‘Niece’s Birthday’ and ‘You Wouldn’t (Maybe You Would)’ place Mino’s vocals at the forefront and the result reveals why Now We’re Living shines - mimicked by the rushing chords and swelling instrumentation, Mino has a way of sounding equally tender, upbeat and disheartened all at once, and the outcome is strangely comforting.
Now We’re Living

I’m such a sucker for a good, brief and instrumental motif/introduction to an album. It’s funny because I feel this one says more about the album and how I felt writing it than any of the other songs which contain lyrics. Plus here’s to bringing back that jazz-fusion/jangle-rock crossover revival in 2023 that we’ve all been waiting for*!


Possibly the most challenging yet most fulfilling song I wrote on the album. I tried to mimic the feeling of how it feels to be told you’re being flippant/cavalier and the emptiness/heaviness of air in the room immediately afterwards. Neither good nor bad, light or heavy - I wanted this one to be equally claustrophobic yet sparse, the frog in your throat and the pin dropping in a canyon. We try to play this one as slowly as possible live, and it’s such a rush!

Just The Same

A song written as a result of staring out my window during those pesky lockdowns - it felt like the clouds enjoyed more freedom than us for the first time (or maybe always have?), and how their ability to drift in/out and away left an impression on me when I was feeling blue. Plus an awakening moment for me that showed how emotions, whether/neither good nor bad, fly in/out like a breeze in such an organic and gentle way. Plus I wanted to write a minute-and-a-half instrumental intro, true latter-career Sonic Youth style!

Niece’s Birthday

This one is probably my favourite track off the album. I’ve realised all my songs after this one are written for my niece, regardless of the subject matter. This one is an ode to my niece and how I feel terrible for missing each of her 5 birthdays so far (surely next year, yeah!?). But this one really made me realise I enjoy writing gentle/playful pop music the most - pop music that means absolutely nothing and absolutely everything at the exact same time, similar to how I now feel as an adult post-Covid - things that used to matter so much don’t necessarily anymore, and things that never really mattered in the past are everything now. Tried to channel a subtle New Radicals energy on this one!

Your New Career

This one’s about sustainability and how those who have the privilege to jump ship when times get tough would’ve realised all along that the way we’re going about things is/has/and always will be unsustainable, unviable and unfeasible in so many ways if we don’t take action in real fulfilling and tangible ways. If only creatives/critical thinkers/gentle types were heard, maybe we’d all hear ‘I told you so’ so loudly and in a meaningful way. Saying all this, I tried to make the guitars/bass tangle in 3’s (rather than the usual 4’s) while letting the drums tie it all together - those Brian Wilson chords got me good on this one!

Cavalier (reprise)

Probably the most important song on the album, in the same way ‘Now We’re Living’ sums up the album so accurately. Purely a vibe, a fleeting forty-second or so vibe, which reiterates the perfect listening conditions for this album - super low volume in your lounge room while you’re chatting with friends!

Keep This To Yourself

I wanted to write a song about projecting for so long but couldn’t work out how to do it while still being genuine to my own projections - what are lyrics if they don’t strike? What are words if you don’t mean them? What are verses if they don’t contend with each other? The I/You/We character setup is something I learned from Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout) - where I realised repetition can be so exciting and incredibly complex with a different character subject. Interestingly a few of the lines are from previously-unreleased No Sister tracks, and for some reason, they just work so so well.

Runner’s Blues

‘Runner’s Blues’, our country-tinged honky tonk about discovering jogging during lockdown and how although running can give you bliss, it can equally give you blues (or honky-tonk). It’s also a song about deception, how we deceive ourselves (for good or bad), and how we inevitably have no choice but to absolve ourselves in certain situations (“It’s just another season apart again”). I feel this one could go on forever live, not because I’m a narcissistic/egotistical buffoon* but because I tried to make the complexity of the guitars/bass tangle in a way that ellipses do in Yasujiro Ozu films - forever and ever no more (check out Brian Eno’s new album too btw).

You Wouldn’t (Maybe You Would)

Ah yes this one - I wanted to write a song about self-gaslighting and how I gaslighted myself in writing a song that exposed my deepest thoughts and emotions at the time - surely I wouldn’t, but maybe I would? Well it turns out I did and perhaps will continue to do so, so perhaps something good came out of that! You wouldn’t write lyrics that didn’t mean anything - maybe you would.

Now We're Living is out now in all the usual places.
Photo by Brunswick Central Vet Clinic