An album that opens with a song as emotionally powerful as ‘Body’ instantly bodes well. The restrained and unchanging rhythm pulls the listener along as Julia Jacklin sings a tale of romance unravelling on a flight. With cracked insouciance she sings, “Boy, I’m gonna leave you, I’m not a good woman when you’re around. That’s when the sound came in. I could finally see. I felt the changing of the seasons, all of my senses rushing back to me. Go your own way.”
‘Head Alone’ and ‘Pressure To Party’ raise the tempo and we get the first tasters of the driving, glimmering guitars that fuel the livelier side of this welcome follow up to 2016 debut, ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win.’ The consistent changes in pace from upbeat alt. country rock to the sultry, slow paeans deftly reflect life’s vicissitudes and the paths that partnerships can take.
Throughout, Jacklin’s lyrics are intimate, confessional and endearing, often capturing those moments in relationships that end up preserved in memory forever. 'Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You' delicately captures the frustration felt when everything that was once exciting and attractive about a lover becomes predictable and tired.
The intimacy extends to the atmosphere captured by producer Burke Reid, who’s worked with fellow Australians Courtney Barnett and Liam Finn, as he leaves in the imperfections of natural breathing and the creak and squeak of instruments and strings. Jacklin’s voice is by turns tremulous, emotionally strained, defiant, and empowered.
The Sydney native is touring Europe and the US extensively this year in support of this beguiling LP. ‘Crushing’ is as prepossessing as Jacklin herself. Fans of Father John Misty, First Aid Kit and Sharon Van Etten are likely to be enamoured.
Words: Nick Rice
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