27th March | Fleece
Photos: Kristina Kimlickova
Underneath her initial spellbinding and sun-kissed shimmer of indie folk – the true Julia Jacklin means business.
Upon first listen to the Australian singer-songwriter, her brand of alternative country-infused folk tends to glisten with a gentle and angelic aura. It’s a soothing dose of innocence, perfect for a warm spring day.
Yet, within a live setting, Jacklin’s music transforms into something much more affecting: music that offers so much more than a mere soundtrack to a sunny day. She instead demonstrates her immense ability to craft sensitive, raw and cathartic songs, packed with an emotional sucker punch, heavy enough to make anyone in the audience shed a devastating tear.
At The Fleece, Jacklin effortlessly created an absorbing and introspective atmosphere, in which her concise self-reflections and subdued lyricism held up a poignant full-length mirror to those in attendance. The already-intimate setting of the Fleece was made to feel even more so.
Jacklin began proceedings with arguably the stand-out track from her critically-acclaimed 2019 release, Crushing. The melancholic and at times sinister slow build of ‘Body’ showcased an artist in full control and at the top of their game. As the throbbing and creeping tension of ‘Body’ pulsated, Jacklin’s hushed and intimate vocals ghosted and reverberated around the venue, leaving a crawling layer of goosebumps. It was a stunning introduction to a gig which seemed to leave the audience in complete awe and locked into their very own thoughts and reflections.
Further highlights from Jacklin again came from her most recent and sophomore album, Crushing. Tracks such as ‘Don’t Know How To Keep Loving You’ and ‘Turn Me Down’ displayed her beautiful sense of honesty. She is a songwriter with a unique knack and ability to delve into deeply emotional and touching themes with a sense of consideration and potency.
A solemn piano ballad entitled ‘When The Family Flies In’ saw Jacklin engage in a soul-stirring duet with multi-instrumentalist and band member, Georgia Mulligan. The audience fell eerily silent for the track, as the duo’s combined vocals rippled gorgeously around the room. It was as if Jacklin was soundtracking an emotive and poignant moment of spiritual release for those lucky enough to buy a ticket.
Amongst Jacklin’s sparse and delicate pieces of folk catharsis, the singer-songwriter also flexed her greater indie-rock credentials. ‘Pool Party’ from her 2016 debut album Don’t Let The Kids Win, as well as the more urgent and fast-paced ‘Pressure To Party’ saw Jacklin let her hair down and bounce around the stage to a cacophony of jangly and exuberant guitar riffs. It was after ‘Pool Party’ that Jacklin arguably received the loudest of applause and cheers.
Jacklin’s effortless and masterful set at The Fleece only confirms her already well-deserved place in current indie-rock and folk upper circles. In a scene that is currently bursting with rich and young talent, Jacklin strikes an emboldened pose. Tracing the emotional veracity of Moon Pix-era Cat Power, Jacklin certainly has a magnificent ability to create dark, honest and contemplative indie-folk.
See the video for ‘Pressure To Party’ here: