Today, Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin shares the music video to her new single “Head Alone.” Directed by her long-time visual collaborator Nick Mckk, Julia explains, “We shot this clip in the streets of Melbourne last minute before tour. We waited until golden hour, Nick sat in the back of a car while my friend Tom drove and we just tried it as many times as we could before we lost light. This was the last take; I was exhausted from chasing the car but I think it worked because I gave up being graceful. I couldn’t think of what to do for this song because the words mean a lot to me and I didn’t want to distract people from the song. I just wanted to act the way the song makes me feel. Empowered and hopeful. Felt sick from the exhaust fumes but I think we captured the feeling.”
The single is taken from her forthcoming album, Crushing, which will be released February 22nd, 2019, via Polyvinyl and can be pre-ordered here.
The second full-length album from Julia Jacklin, Crushing embodies every possible meaning of its title word. It’s an album formed from sheer intensity of feeling, an in-the-moment narrative of heartbreak and infatuation. And with her storytelling centered on bodies and crossed boundaries and smothering closeness, Crushing reveals how our physical experience of the world shapes and sometimes distorts our inner lives. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2016 debut Don’t Let the Kids Win, Crushing finds Jacklin continually acknowledging what’s expected of her, then gracefully rejecting those expectations. As a result, the album invites self-examination and a possible shift in the listener’s way of getting around the world—an effect that has everything to do with Jacklin’s openness about her own experience.
Produced by Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Liam Finn) and recorded at The Grove Studios, Crushing sets Jacklin’s understated defiance against a raw yet luminous sonic backdrop. “In all the songs, you can hear every sound from every instrument; you can hear my throat and hear me breathing,” she says. “It was really important to me that you can hear everything for the whole record, without any studio tricks getting in the way.”
On the album-opening lead single “Body” – released last month – Jacklin proves the power of that approach, turning out a mesmerizing vocal performance even as she slips into the slightest murmur. A starkly composed portrait of a breakup, the song bears an often-bracing intimacy, a sense that you’re right in the room with Jacklin as she lays her heart out. And as “Body” wanders and drifts, Jacklin establishes Crushing as an album that exists entirely on its own time, a work that’s willfully unhurried.
And whilst a moving and complex listen, Crushing unfolds with an ease that echoes Jacklin’s newfound self-reliance as an artist. “With the first album I was so nervous and didn’t quite see myself as a musician yet, but after touring for two years, I’ve come to feel like I deserve to be in that space,” she says. Throughout Crushing, that sense of confidence manifests in one of the most essential elements of the album: the captivating strength of Jacklin’s lyrics. Not only proof of her ingenuity and artistic generosity, Jacklin’s uncompromising specificity and infinitely unpredictable turns of phrase ultimately spring from a certain self-possession in the songwriting process.
Currently in the UK for a run of three intimate sold out dates, Julia and her band will return in 2019 with a full world tour – including the US.