Julia Jacklin on "Crushing" - Breaking Free Interview | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Julia Jacklin on “Crushing”

Breaking Free

May 09, 2019 Julia Jacklin
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After the release of her debut LP, 2016’s Don’t Let the Kids Win, Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin didn’t think she had any more songs left in her to write.

“I was totally, 100% sure that all I had in me was one album,” says Jacklin. “I thought 22 year old Julia was a songwriter but 26 year old Julia is a performer of old songs. Nothing was coming and I was touring the world as a songwriter but I didn’t feel like one at all because I wasn’t writing. It was a bit scary. It was weird, I felt like a bit of a phoney for a while there.”

With the support of her bandmates, friends, and family, Jacklin reduced the pressure she was putting on herself, and her sophomore record, Crushing, began to take shape. Crushing is a blend of sparse numbers, like the gut-punching piano ballad “When the Family Flies In,” and full band rock tracks like the thunderous “You Were Right.” Jacklin initially thought Crushing should sound complex and really different from her debut but when it was time to record, she decided to honor the tracks’ lyrical honesty and made them sound as straightforward as possible. “I wanted a record where you could put it on and you can hear everything that’s going on in the room. There’s no mystery really,” Jacklin explains.

Jacklin’s lyrics touch on love, loss, and autonomy. She admits that she emerged from a “strange headspace” while writing the album and says that these songs are the result of professional and personal growth. “It’s weird, it doesn’t even feel like my second album. It just kind of feels like the first album that I’m making with this version of myself,” she says.

“I think I put so much energy into trying to make sure that everybody thought I was a good person. I twisted myself into so many knots trying to do right by everyone and then just realized that you can’t and some people are just not going to like you and some people are going to think that you’re uppity because you’re doing well. I think I internalized a lot of guilt about doing well and that kind of sucks because it means that you can’t be proud of yourself and you can’t be happy for yourself because you think that comes across as arrogant. That weighed so heavily on my for a long time and I’m so glad that once I took the pressure off of myself, I just feel so much better.”

This relief is apparent throughout Crushing. On the celebratory “Pressure to Party,” for example, Jacklin declaratively sings, “I know I’ve locked myself in my room but I’ll open up the door and try to love again soon.” It’s one of the album’s most revelatory moments and holds a sense of optimism that Jacklin hopes that listeners will glean from her record as a whole.

“I feel incredibly hopeful and happy and obviously the weight of the world can get you down sometimes but I think a big part of that was letting go of trying to make everybody happy all the time. I’d hate to put out a record that lacked any kind of open door at the end of the tunnel because that’s not how I feel and that’s not what I want other people to feel or take away from an album that I make.”

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 65 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online.]


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