Julia Jacklin has a name that rolls off the tongue and a voice worth insuring for billions.
The Australian singer-songwriter’s rich vocals lead every track on her debut album Don’t Let The Kids Win to uncontested victory, without leaving a shred of evidence that this is her first time on the job. Instead, the album plays like it’s her 70th year on the rodeo circuit. It seems that in Jacklin, we’ve stumbled upon an artist who just gets it. Gets how to write and record a collection of songs that sway together in a perfect union of vintage and contemporary sound, how to creatively direct clever and visually stunning music videos, and today, how to sit down and pen a revealing track-by-track explanation of her brand new album, which dropped this morning. Over to you, Julia.
I was still finishing the lyrics the night before we recorded it. I’d never really played it live so I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to sound like. We recorded it once completely differently, with a very different feel. I really liked it for the first couple of days but then was like ah this is a bit nuts. It was super-fast and drum heavy so it felt a little stressful. It’s about wanting someone in your life to get help if not for themselves then for you. Kind of inspired by the Girl Guide pool parties my family hosted when I was a kid.
This is one of my favourite songs and one of the first ones I wrote. Couldn’t really get it in the studio. Ben really helped out. I just remember mentioning something about how I heard a choir at the end and before I could say another word he was in there yelling his heart out into a microphone. It documents the tail end of a great relationship.
Coming of Age
It’s about hearing an artist you really like and then freaking out that you’ll never make anything anywhere near as good and no one will care about you or care about your music, you know the feeling. Then being like ah fuck it, just do it and see what happens. The heaviest the record gets I’d say.
This song I wrote about a good friend of mine. Just about encouraging your friends to keep pushing with music, letting them know you’re there with them. One of my favourite recordings.
This song nearly didn’t make the record. I don’t know why, l love it now and I love performing it. There was something missing in NZ and I didn’t really connect with it. But here it is! It’s about wondering if people I don’t know will ever come to my gigs and not my long suffering and completely amazing supportive family and friends.
I really love this song so of course it was super hard to record. I think I recorded this on the last day. I just had to get it down. Because it’s a live take it’s hard to ever feel super confident with the whole piece. I made Ben leave the studio, so it was just the dogs and me in there.
My dad resembles the actor Zach Braff and that was the springboard for this song. Real deep. I also just wanted to write a song with only 2 chords. Ben had some great visions for this track I think it was the first one we recorded over there. I was a bit nervous because Tom my drummer didn’t realise his passport was out of date so I had to get a session guy in to record it. He was so great though and brought something different to the recording.
Hey what do you know, another song about not being heard and wondering if I ever will be! Come on Julia.
Same Airport, Different Man
This is where I get the bluesiest I probably ever will. Just a repetitive song about the issues that arise with mixing a love for travel and a love for loving people. Also how as I get older the less drama I need in relationships. That drama doesn’t mean it’s better.
It was my first time driving back from Adelaide on my own. I had just gotten on to the Hay Plain and my petrol light went on. It was a scary but really beautiful drive. The sun was setting and I just think the Hay Plain is so spectacular. I wrote this song whilst driving, just singing away trying to distract myself from the looming empty tank situation.
Don’t Let The Kids Win
This was the last song I wrote for the album and it ended up being the title track. I think it sums up the theme of the record nicely and where I was in my life at the time. Doubting everything but a bit too tired to let it get to me too much. Just kind of going well…yeah I’m freaking out about getting older and running out of time but so is everyone! So just sing about it, move on and keep working.