‘Fizzy, dark and energetic’ | The Manatees share track-by-track breakdown of new EP ‘Different State Of Mind’

The Manatees frontman Jay Harris gives us a track-by-track rundown of the band's new EP, Different State of Mind.

The Manatees

South coast indie-rock trio The Manatees have dropped their second EP Different State of Mind today, and with it a five-track collection of anthemic singalongs and fuzzed-up guitars destined for the big stages – which helps, given they have a headline tour in April. Frontman Jay Harris gives us a track-by-track rundown of the new project.

Speaking about the project overall before lending us insight into the five tunes, he said…

Different State of Mind is a coming-of-age, it explores the emotions we experience when we’re learning to navigate life. Love, insecurity, frustration, exhaustion, vulnerability and distance are all themes that stretch across the EP.

It’s fizzy, dark and energetic. We recorded it in Liverpool with Tarek Musa (Spring King, The Big Moon, Gengahr). Tarek has energy pulsing through his veins, it’s woven into his DNA and we were incredibly lucky to have part of his sound imprinted on this project.

We consider ourselves a live band, so having a feeling of excitement throughout the tracks is incredibly important to us – it made this partnership so amazing.

The EP is an evolution of the sound we’ve been working on for the last couple of years. We’re continuing to spend more time tinkering with synthesisers, samples and vocoders, but fuzzy riffs and hooky choruses are still at the core of who we are. 

Call You A Criminal

‘Call You A Criminal’ is the most pop-like track we’ve ever put-out. It harbours the frustration and complexities of timing and distance in a relationship, becoming locked-off from someone physically and beginning to resent the place you find yourself. 

In my case it’s a city, London, a concrete barrier I have a strong love-hate relationship with. I’ve been here a little while, and it’s safe to say I’m on better terms with the city now, but I wrote this song early on whilst I was feeling a little enclosed. Ultimately, it’s inescapable, a release, and learning how to navigate relationships from the inside-out.

The Manatees
Photo: Solen Collet

Get What You Want

‘Get What You Want’ is a bit of a contradiction. It oozes attitude and borders on aggression at points. The choruses are vocally stacked and powerful. Despite its intense energy, the song is actually about insecurity and feeling insufficient for the people around you. 

I certainly have days, in periods more often than not, where I don’t feel good enough. My confidence fluctuates a lot, I think that’s all part of being human. I love the fact the song doesn’t let up, it’s like a hard shell to the self-doubt within it.


This track is a rollercoaster, probably up there with the more intense tracks on the EP. It’s really about how exhausting love can be. Being extremely vulnerable to someone, yet utterly addicted at the same time. I love the intricacies you pick-up within relationships, and the fact no one on the outside could ever know what it’s truly like. 

The longer you’re with someone, the greater those intricacies become, whilst also putting so much more on the line as you delve deeper into life together. You have to jump bigger hurdles, handle more substantial squabbles and ultimately sacrifice something along the way.

Best of Me

‘Best of Me’ is fuelled by aggravation and frustration. It’s about feeling like you can’t show the people around you the best version of yourself. I think it’s sadly often the case that we hurt the people we’re closest to because we feel the most comfortable around them. 

They seem to take the brunt of the negative aspects of our character because we feel like we can be any which way around them. It can be hard to hide the “bad days” and they often see the worst in us, rather than the best.

February’s Cold

This track is the curve ball of ‘Different State of Mind’. It’s the most vulnerable on the EP, musically, and we hope it shows a different side to our songwriting, and another layer to the band. The song is about moving away from home and creating distance between you and the people you love.

It’s also about feeling that distance more intensely around this time of year. As an individual, the winter months play havoc with my mood. There’s a sense of guilt to it, feeling like you’ve abandoned home. 

I wrote it shortly after moving to London last year, the summer haze had worn off and the darker days were drawing in. I miss home a lot and it seems to hit harder in February. My birthday’s also in February, which I hate – it always rains.

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