Julia Jacklin: Crushing (Polyvinyl) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024  

Julia Jacklin



Feb 19, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After touring for two years following her well-received debut, Julia Jacklin feels more comfortable as a musician. The Australian’s lyrical confidence has grown and she uses that as a palette to lay out her vulnerability on new album Crushing. Jacklin has come a long way from singing in musicals and listening to Doris Day and Billy Bragg; her voice is seasoned past her 28 years. Crushing is an all-encompassing title. Jacklin no longer buries her feelings and the listener might miss something if they do not pay attention.

Most Angel Olsen fans will latch on to Jacklin. Olsen and Jacklin are not the same, but the influence is there; we can hear it on Crushing and Jacklin’s first album, 2016’s Don’t Let the Kids Win. This is meant as an obvious compliment. Take single “Head Alone,” a song that sonically explodes in a similar place as Olsen’s “Shut Up Kiss Me.” The explosion is short-lived, but it hits really hard. Also, the slow, mysterious plods, pauses, acoustics, and amazing vocal range are comparable. Crushing‘s second to last track, “Turn Me Down,” is sung in a piercing register, again and again in front of a bass drum as everything else turns up into a swarm. Then, a crash, another huge vocal, and to simmer. All of Crushing is good; Jacklin and Olsen are sisters of sheer intensive feeling from relationship pressures.

Jacklin’s head was full of fear when she wrote these 10 songs taking 38 minutes, as evidenced by these lyrics: “I guess it’s just my life, and it’s just my body;” “it’s easy to talk when you don’t have to think; “nothing good can come from me drinking;” “you know it’s bad when the family flies in;” and “please just turn me down.” Whether it’s her first piano ballad (“When the Family Flies In”), fun rave-up rockers (“Pressure to Party” and “You Were Right”) or fingerpicking acoustic echo (“Convention”), Crushing is raw. Jacklin and the band aren’t playing new sounds, but the groove is locked as she tells her story of heartbreak to her final breath. (www.juliajacklin.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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