Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let the Kids Win

May we introduce to you the incredible mind of Julia Jacklin!

With the recent release of Julia Jacklin’s new single, ‘Eastwick’, we take a look back at the start of her impressive looking career with the release of her first musical venture. Released in June of this year, this incredible single brings listeners a simply intricate foreign sound that somehow has the capability of remaining so close to home. Growing up in the blue mountains of New South Wales, Jacklin’s childhood was surrounded by music, with roots that span from classical to pop punk, Jacklin’s career is looking so bright that she has already started travelling around the world with her music, even playing at festivals such as Glastonbury, Splendour in The Grass, and Latitude. Following ‘Eastwick’, her debut album, Don’t Let the Kids Win, is a stunning display of a surprising yet inevitable interaction between folk and an almost country/indie kind of rock. The whole album flows incredibly as if it were a 1-hour long medley and yet doesn’t give in to the temptation of being bland, it doesn’t even hint at it!

In the 11 track album, Julia beautifully deals with her ever changing life, love loss and her fear of failure. The slow jam feel of the backing music has a certain cleverness to it that is complemented perfectly with Jacklin’s stunning vocals, subtly reminding me of another famous singer with the exact same initials. Each song flows like the wind without it feeling too spacey, allowing Jacklin’s poetry to be unrestricted by rhythm and the centre focus of each song. This album is the perfect soundtrack for a road trip through the country side or even a peaceful stroll through nature.

For me, two stand out tracks from the album would have to be ‘Leadlight’ and ‘Same Airport, Different Man’. Both songs are slightly faster than majority of the album but in no way loses its relaxing and slow jam feel. The second song on the album, ‘Leadlight’, is warm, spacey and groovy all at the same time. Starting out with a slow paced and quickly built guitar and drum duet, the music drops and in come Jacklin’s beautiful voice again singing “I once was a Sunday kneeler”, making anyone smart enough to listen feel enticed with her vocals and the rest of the song to follow. As the song gradually builds, you are left feeling that you a sinking to the ground waiting for the lighthouse in the storm, a feeling so sophisticated in music it is reminiscent of the music from another famous musician, Rufus Wainwright.

The 8th song on the album, ‘Same Airport, Different Man’, is described by Jacklin as being ‘where I get the bluesiest I probably ever will’, and yet it feels like she is a natural at the genre. The song takes you into a 1970’s jazz club, this helps it stand out from the rest of the album whilst remaining in the same incredible standard. Starting out with a simply elegant deep bass and lightly distorted guitar, it takes you on a journey feeling like your sitting on a misty lake at night, both haunting and beautiful.

All in all, this album creates a stunning visual for its listeners, whether you’re into blues, jazz, folk or even country, it feels like Julia is a professional in all. Although at first it felt too slow for my upbeat liking, I learnt that Julia takes you on a train ride that isn’t too fast and rocky, letting the slower pace help you relax, sit in the song and enjoy every little bump without being rapidly shook around. Each song takes you to a different place but every corner still feels like a relaxing day on a Hawaiian beach. This album truly feels like the renewal of a sadly lost era, bringing back some classic 70’s acoustic vibes and making it fresh for new listeners. Watch this space people, because you’ll be wanting to say “I listened to her before everyone else”.

Review by Liam Mackay