Music / Features
Track by Track:
Juice Webster - More Than Reaction
Words by Francis Tait
Thursday 13th May, 2021
Juice Webster’s second EP More Than Reaction is a pensive, shimmering indie-folk masterclass and now that it is just short of a month old, we’ve had Juice take us behind the release and its five tracks.
Building on the swirling acoustic guitar pop of 2019’s You Who Was Myself, Juice Webster has just blessed us with her newest spellbinding offering. Much like her first EP, each track of More Than Reaction is its own little private world, rotating around a nucleus of classic, guitar driven introspective songwriting, however on this release, Juice demonstrates a sophistication in arrangement and production that takes the project to a whole new level.

While Juice’s singer-songwriter roots live at the core of each of these songs, More Than Reaction is tied together with its sparse, cunning arranging across the EP’s five tracks. Juice opts for little more than a patient, fingerpicked guitar and vocal with ‘Stupid Girl’ and ‘Believer’, and lead single ‘Let The Dog Out’ sets out for contrast, with washes of fuzzed out lead guitar and simmering rock drumming spotlighting the track's masterful songwriting, without ever overstepping its mark. Hypnotic EP highlight ‘Wanna Be Held’ begins as a strummed soft rock ballad and develops into a spiralling groove that I could happily live within well beyond it’s five-ish minute run time.

Following the final few intimate guitar strums of closer ‘I Don’t Mean To’, you’ll find very quickly that More Than Reaction is the sort of release that will sit and ruminate with you, long after its completion. As you work through that process, we had Juice swing by and shed some light on each track of More Than Reaction.
More Than Reaction as a whole is about feeling sort of belittled and thrashed about by my own existence. It took me a while to try and find a common thread between the subject matter of these songs, as I didn’t write them with the intention of them belonging to the same body of work. But when I was thinking about the songs individually, I found that in their own ways, each song was kind of examining or zero-ing in on a different way in which I felt small and at the mercy of my surroundings. At the time when writing these songs I was very much feeling like I was constantly just reacting to things that were happening around me and I found myself wondering who I would be if there wasn’t anything to react to. 

Stupid Girl
This song is the oldest song on the EP; I wrote it in 2018. When I was in high school, we had assemblies dedicated to giving us tips on how to feel and be safer when we were out at night, but it was becoming clearer and clearer, with each story in the news, that despite doing all the things we’re taught to do from such a young age, we’re stupid for thinking it’ll make any difference.   

Let The Dog Out
Let The Dog Out is about waking up in the morning and straight away anticipating the onset of the heavy feelings that stem from the big questions. It’s about trying your best to fight them off by going for a walk to be around other people, or by trying to believe in something in order to find meaning, but not quite being able to.

I didn’t grow up in a religious household, nor did I attend a religious school, but I find that when I’m struggling to comprehend certain events or happenings, I have this real desire to believe in some greater power in order to make sense of them. 


This one’s about getting older and the things that come with that. I grew up the youngest of four children, and we were and still are very close. Being the youngest, I was the last one left at home when everyone else had moved out and I remember being struck with this realisation that there will come a time when I will have lived longer without my siblings under the same roof than I ever did with them, and that made me really sad. I felt confronted by the fact that this phase was over, and we were already onto the next and then the next, and there was no going back.

Simultaneously, I’ve always been afraid to lose my memory because I think all that we are is tied up in memory. So it’s also about this fear that one day, I’m going to just have to take other people’s words for the kind of person that I was and be left with no choice but to believe what I’m told. 

Wanna Be Held
I wrote 'Wanna Be Held' during a time when I was feeling really unsettled and reactive. I felt like my mind was constantly jumping between a hundred different things and all I was doing was reacting to what was happening around me. I really envied those with a one-track mind and felt such a desire to just lock into something and focus, but I couldn’t seem to get there. The idea of being held in one place for a minute, by someone who I find comfort in, was very appealing and just about the only thing I could think of that would chill me out and slow me down. I wasn’t looking for anything to change, because when I really thought about it, there wasn’t anything that I wanted to be different. I just needed to be held still for a minute.

I Don't Mean To

'I Don’t Mean To' is about not being able to make sense of anything, not even my own beginning. Similar to 'Believer', it touches on this idea of just having to take other people’s words for things. I wrote this song towards the end of 2019 when a large portion of Australia was up in flames. I think when we’re feeling unsettled, it’s common to retreat among those we feel most comfortable with, so I was doing a lot of that. But I think along the way, I realised that I was, unintentionally, putting a lot of my anxiety and tension onto other people which is never a cool thing to do. So, it’s an acknowledgement of like, you’re the only thing that makes me feel ok at the moment, but it’s also not fair to put that kind of pressure on you and I know that.
More Than Reaction is out everywhere now - get lost in it over on