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Julia Jacklin - Pre Pleasure (Album Review)

Friday, 02 September 2022 Written by Tom Morgan

The cover of ‘Pre Pleasure’ depicts Julia Jacklin inspecting a blown up image of her face. The colourful photograph not-so-subtly mirrors the album’s tone, which is similarly bright and introspective.

The Australian singer-songwriter has risen to considerable popularity since her 2019 breakthrough ‘Crushing’. Her melancholic brand of Americana-influenced indie-rock recalls the work of Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, fellow millennials writing smart, emotionally-resonant alternative music defined by anxious introspection.

Jacklin’s latest actually falls somewhere between the varying abilities of Bridgers and Dacus. It’s more vibrant than Dacus’s low-key melodrama, though a touch less singular than some of Bridgers’ extraordinary insights.

Instead, ‘Pre Pleasure’ is a subtle and compelling indie-folk album that is approachable before anything else.

Jacklin’s musical craft is unspectacular but consistently engaging, so it’s her lyrics that really elevate things. I Was Neon is one example: an engrossing, heartfelt anthem that recalls Death Cab For Cutie at their most energetic. “I was a floodlight/reaching out for everything in sight,” is just one of the track’s sharp metaphors, which get under the skin like tiny barbs.

There’s a touch of the literary to some of Jacklin’s writing, a term that has also been applied to Bridgers’ striking lyrics. Lydia Wears A Cross weaves an imagistic narrative imagining a childhood of churchgoing and parades, while Moviegoer is more abstract, making literal the ways that people view their life as though it exists on a movie screen.

Jacklin’s brand of gentle modern angst will likely find an enormous fanbase. It sharply unpacks some relatable and contemporary anxieties in such a human  manner that it’s hard not to be swept up by it. A low key triumph.

Julia Jacklin Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu November 03 2022 - DUBLIN Vicar Street
Sat November 05 2022 - GLASGOW SWG3
Sun November 06 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Mon November 07 2022 - BIRMINGHAM Mill
Wed November 09 2022 - BRISTOL SWX
Thu November 10 2022 - BRIGHTON Chalk
Fri November 11 2022 - LONDON Roundhouse

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