Nicholas Allbrook is an acclaimed Western Australian-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist. painter and producer. Since starting his artistic career, Allbrook has brought community and collaboration to the forefront of his artistic and creative method — both as a solo artist and with POND. Allbrook has also collaborated with Aussie and international acts alike. including King Krule, Cate Le Bon, Cuco and Holy Fuck among others.
Through his career, Allbrook has shown a deep understanding of the human experience and the importance of art in modern society. His fourth solo album, the Allbrook and Nathaniel Hoho (a.k.a. HOKO) co-produced Manganese is slated for a July 9, 2023 release through Spinning Top Music . The album reportedly is a psyche pop wonderland that captures the sound of a musician with a symphony in his back pocket, a thorough history of 80s Oz-rock in his rearview mirror and modern Australia in his sights.
“Jackie,” Manganese‘s latest single is a mid-tempo, swooning ballad centered around twinkling synths, strummed guitar, a sinuous bass line and a rousingly anthemic hook paired with Allbrook’s plaintive vocal. Seemingly indebted to 80s pop, “Jackie” is a bittersweet song that grapples with loss, grief and hope for peace in the afterlife — or whatever is beyond this.
“This song is about my friend (whose name isn’t Jackie) who died in 2021,” Allbrook explains. “She was fantastic and the news left me with familiar feelings of guilt and regret and ‘why didn’t I do more or know better?’ I don’t usually get hit with creative bolts while running, but by the canal once in London I was struck with the hopeful image of her rowing away from the earth that had been so hurtful and hard, on a black lake surrounded by stars, finally finding peace and silence. It felt nice to think about death like that, bathed in pale silver light rather than just cold. I got lots of instrumental help from Nathaniel Hoho, who bizarrely and brilliantly put in the nature documentary voice about the giant panda which should never work but somehow does.”
Directed by Alex Haygarth, the accompanying video for “Jackie” is split between Allbrook in full Thin White Duke mode, playing acoustic guitar while bathed in spotlight with flecks of starlight around him. We also see drag performance artist Ash Baroque expressively dancing and lip synching to the song, making the video seem as though it’s a duet between two dear friends — one just departed, one still here in the mortal coil.