Growing up in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains to a family of teachers and educations, Julia Jacklin originally thought she would follow a similar path as a social worker; however, the young Jacklin chanced upon a documentary about Britney Spears while on a family vacation that changed the course of her life. As Jacklin mentions in press notes “By the time Britney was 12, she’d achieved a lot. I remember thinking ‘Shit what I have done with my life? I haven’t achieved anything.’ So I was like ‘Mum, as soon as we get home from this holiday, I need to get singing lessons.”
As the story goes, classical singing lessons were the only kind a young Jacklin could take in the area, but she took to it; however, by the time she was in her teens the lack of her own personal expression and she quickly joined a high school band, in which she spent time singing Avril Lavigne and Evanescence covers. And as you can imagine, she was quickly hooked — and recognized that music was something she should consider.
Recognizing you have to take a creative path and figuring out which path it should be often comes about in a series of epiphanies and serendipitous events. Jacklin’s second major epiphany came after she had finished high school. While traveling through South America, she ran into high school friend and future collaborator Liz Hughes. Bonding over a love of indie, Appalachian folk trio Mountain Man, the duo started a band together, initially with Jacklin singing the songs that Hughes wrote. “I would just sing,” Jacklin explained in press notes. “But as I got my confidence I started playing guitar and writing songs. I wouldn’t be doing music now if it wasn’t for Liz or that band. I never knew it was something I could do.”
Recorded in New Zealand’s Sitting Room Studios with Ben Edwards, best known for his work with Marlon Williams, Aldous Harding and Nadia Reid, Jacklin’s forthcoming full-length debut Don’t Let The Kids Win is indebted to the influence of Fiona Apple, Anna Calvi while drawing heavily from folk, alt-country and classic country as you’ll hear on the album’s first single “Leadlight,” a single I recently stumbled on while writing about another single. And if you can imagine it, I stopped what I was doing at my cluttered desk and was immediately moved by the ancient ache in this young singer/songwriter’s voice — an ache of lost and squandered chances, terrible decisions, lost loves and longing that manages to be both a bittersweet lament that has its narrator seemingly saying “how did I fuck that all up — again?” and the wisp of a smile over the fact that life is often embittering, messy and enchanting. Such wisdom in someone so young — the singer/songwriter is only 25 — is a rarity and with a voice that hints at Patsy Cline and others, I think we’ll be hearing quite a bit from Jacklin.