INTERVIEW: Julia Jacklin releases second album 'Crushing'
Image: Nick Mckk
Julia Jacklin first burst onto the music scene in 2016 with the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Don’t Let The Kids Win, a beguiling mix of indie pop, folk, country and rock. The album attracted attention around the world and Jacklin was soon performing on some of the biggest stages in the international music world, including South by Southwest and Electric Picnic. The resultant almost constant two years of touring fed into the creation of her second album, Crushing, which was released on Friday. A gorgeous collection of songs which examine heartbreak, infatuation and love, Jackin’s trademark warmth, intimacy and brutal honesty connects directly to the soul and by the end of the album leaves you feeling a comradeship with Jacklin. We recently sat down with Julia to learn more about the creation of the album.
Hi Julia! So your second album Crushing was released on February 22. Was there a particular inspiration behind the creation of the album?
With this second record it was just… another two years of my life. What I went through, my life changed a lot. I became a full time musician and I toured for two and a half years. I’ve moved cities and I’ve come out of a relationship. I’m older. Everything’s changed. I’m not as like scared or apologetic as I used to be when I made that first record whereas this one, I feel like I have learned a lot of the answers I was searching for and now it’s just me trying to maintain still being a hopeless romantic when I know too much.
I hear you recorded the album at The Grove, the iconic studio owned by Garry Beers from INXS?
Yeah, it’s a cool studio. It’s very… insular. You can’t really see anything outside, it’s just surrounded by bush. Two big gates that kind of just slowly open like you’re entering a prison. It did feel a bit like a prison towards the end because I didn’t really leave! It was a very different experience to my first album, which was recorded in beautiful scenic, fresh New Zealand. We worked during the day, we got lots of sleep. Whereas this one was like, we’d start working at four or five pm and finish at about three or four am. Drank quite a bit. Didn’t really see the sunlight. Didn’t sleep that well. It was all a bit of a fever dream. But I think that kind of contributed to the sound.
How does that recording lifestyle impact your creativity?
I think It was really important for this one for me to do it because when you get to two to three in the morning, you’re kind of just too tired to care anymore. You enter into this next level of tiredness, where if you don’t go to bed, you then kind of lock into this other gear that you don’t get to access very often. I think it was important for this record because they’re all heavy songs to sing and to perform. I’m glad I was too tired to be self-conscious of the content. So, I didn’t feel embarrassed or a bit exposed because I was just like I’m too tired to care, let’s get this done.
The lyrical content of the album is very personal and very raw. Was it difficult to let those thoughts and feelings out into the world for everyone to pick over?
I’m really glad I didn’t think about it at the time because I probably wouldn’t have made this record if I did. Yeah, it is a bit weird I guess but I don’t feel like I’m saying or singing about anything that’s embarrassing. It’s pretty common human experiences.
One of the songs towards the end of the album ‘Turn Me Down’ sounds like it was particularly brutal to record?
Oh, it was! The producer, Burke Reid, is an incredible producer in that he works you really hard and he doesn’t kind of let you be lazy. We’d already done ‘Turn Me Down’ three times, three different ways and we thought we finally had it. Then we relistened to it and Burke was just like, ‘nah, I think we can do this better.’ I knew it too, but I just also was kind of in the moment just coping with everyone saying it sounds great. So then we had to redo it again. That was just really intense, it was just very gruelling physically and emotionally to get that song down.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
I really like ‘Don’t Know How To Keep Loving You’, but it’s probably ‘Turn Me Down’ at the moment because of the reasons I just mentioned. We’ve just performed it live actually and that’s been really fun, it’s a really fun song to perform, it feels a bit like a theatre piece for me.
Apart from Crushing, what other music are you listening to at the moment?
I love the new Kacey Musgraves album because it’s the complete opposite of mine. It’s beautiful, positive songs about how nice it is to be in love with someone. If I heard that at a different point in my life, I would be ‘oh god this is just not real.’ But now I’m in a position where I think, ‘oh this is really nice and yeah it is really nice to be in love with someone.’ I also love pop music - I’m a huge Ariana Grande fan, a big Rihanna fan. There’s music for all that can fit all parts of yourself and all of your experiences.
What’s next for Julia Jacklin
I’m just going to tour this record for a while. I started playing drums in a band which has been fun, but I kind of have to give everything else up right now to go tour this record for a year and a half. I’m excited about it though because I feel like it’s going to be a more positive experience than it was last time because I know what to do now!
Julia Jacklin will be touring across Australian and internationally throughout 2019. For more info and tickets go to juliajacklin.com