Looking back on the evolution of Rock music – from the 1950s to modern times – Australia has given us some incredibly gifted artists. Influenced by music from the UK and the US, Australian artists injected elements of their own folk and roots music into a whole new brew that has been hard to ignore over the decades. Some artists have achieved success outside of Australia – The Easybeats, Little River Band, Olivia Newton-John, AC/DC, Helen Reddy, Rick Springfield, Men at Work, INXS, Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave, and Keith Urban – yet there are many iconic Aussie acts that have made only minor ripples overseas including Cold Chisel, Mondo Rock, Richard Clapton, Mental As Anything, Daddy Cool, Sherbet, the Choirboys, Dog Trumpet, Stephen Cummings, Flash & the Pan, and many others. Since the rise of social media, Australian artists found ways to find new audiences outside of their homeland and artists like Courtney Barnett and Tash Sultana have managed to reach worldwide audiences.
And now, let’s add another name to the list of talents from Down Under: Julia Jacklin. Although she’s not a brand-new artist – her first musical project, Salta, formed in 2012 – Julia is a talent whose popularity continues to grow with each release. After Salta, a duo she formed with Elizabeth Hughes, she formed Phantastic Ferniture in 2014 with Hughes and drummer Ryan Brennan. At the same time, Julia Jacklin pursued a solo career, and released her debut album, DON’T LET THE KIDS WIN, in 2016. The album was a critical success and reached #42 on the Australian/ARIA Albums chart. Julia Jacklin then returned to her friends in Phantastic Ferniture, and the group released a self-titled album in 2018. Julia Jacklin’s second solo album, CRUSHING, was released in 2019 and was even more successful than her debut. The album climbed into the Top Ten in Australia and made the Top 30 in New Zealand and #67 in the UK. And naturally, with the success of CRUSHING came appearances at many music festivals including the Shaky Knees Music Festival, the Latitude Festival, the Forecastle Festival, and others. She also sold out her own headline shows.
In 2022, Julia Jacklin returns with her third solo release, PRE PLEASURE. Still rooted in the tender Folk and Alt-Country sound of old, her music continues to progress, baking more ‘contemporary’ flourishes into her musical stew. With over a million streams on the album’s singles – “Lydia Wears a Crown” and the rocker “I Was Neon” – she’s already opened the gates to the album’s assorted flavors. Written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the album finds new emotions that float in and out of the songs. There’s an intimacy and warmth to the album that can sometimes be offset by a sense of sadness and a pinch of confusion. But don’t let that make you think that Julia has allowed weakness to creep into her life! As a singer and songwriter, she’s as confident and accomplished as ever, giving listeners the opportunity to experience and feel her emotions on songs like “Love, Try Not To Let Go,” “Be Careful With Yourself,” and “Too In Love To Die.” After a three year wait, PRE PLEASURE certainly lives up to expectations, but also goes beyond them. The most important thing an artist can do is not only give the listeners what they want but also give them what they need. And PRE PLEASURE masterfully rises to the occasion.