Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let The Kids Win

Julia Jacklin

Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let The Kids Win

Inspired improbably by Britney Spears, Australian Julia Jacklin shares little with the “Toxic” star apart from a talent to sing well-crafted pop songs. Single “Coming Of Age” is a jaunty trip into a ’90s groove and the song showcases her almost-drawling vocal style. Clearly not a girl who wants to try too hard – this is one seriously good song. “I’m doing fine,” she sings and we believe her. “Pool Party” is the first track and meanders slowly into a countryish melody. Jumping right in, she cynically muses on the nature of love instead of taking the rapturous stance of so many contemporaries.

“Elizabeth” is a gentle meditation which displays the versatility of her haunting voice. On “Motherland” Jacklin tells us that “Innocence is wise” and the softness of her voice is transcended by a lilting melody and a spoken delivery warms the song up. It would be perfect with a glass of red in a cosy pub with someone special. This is not music to listen to alone but to share.

“Small Talk” marches on to a steady beat. Shimmering and delicate and yearning – “You’re too young to be a lover to me,” she sings. “I’m small talk and cheap wine,” she concludes, with the kind of wit that has been seen in Australian contemporary Courtney Barnett. “Sweet Step” is another lightly-produced song that displays her Stevie Nicks-like vocals to wondrous effect. “Same Airport, Different Man” is an unusual journey into cynicism. Here is a different Jacklin singing from a tortured heart perhaps? Whatever, it makes a change from her wry missives. “Hay Plain” is the album’s longest track at just under six minutes. Some meatier production heads up this song, which whilst not being exactly radio-friendly is solid enough as a single with added vocals.

Overall, this is sophisticated pop with a folky twist crowned by a heaven-sent voice.

Polyvinyl (US)/ Trangressive (UK/Europe) / Liberation Music (Aus)