March: Crushing by Julia Jacklin

 

I can’t pretend that I had even heard of Julia Jacklin until a month ago but Crushing makes me feel like I know her intimately.  I often pick an album from Metacritic’s highest scored new albums and commit to spending some real time with it. This year, I have found 3 albums in this way that I adore and considered for AOTM. I have decided to go with Crushing by Julia Jacklin as I find it the most emotionally connecting of the three. The instrumentation, production and arrangements take a back seat to hauntingly powerful yet understated lyrics. There are more upbeat moments on the album than the opening track that I’ve linked above but they are still melancholy and moody in their atmosphere.

This is the kind of album that makes me reconsider actions, words and relationships from my past. I find it rare that an album makes me feel as much as this album does and I love it for this.

The opening track is called ‘Body’ and is a beautifully written remembering of a difficult relationship captured in a 5 minute track of simplistic beauty. The story telling is compelling and affecting and paints pictures that you connect with instantly (or at least I do). Following this track the word ‘body’ appears in more than half of the remaining tracks and marks and openness and intimacy that makes me feel like I might just love Julia.

I don’t want to say much more than I have other than that I hope you connect with this in the same way that I have.

8 comments

  1. nolankane706

    First out of the blocks again: yes!

    I love this album. It took a couple listens though. I wasn’t initially sure about the change of pace through the album. Then I realised I was being a dick and started really enjoying it. This album is right up my street.

    Very much on brother Joseph’s comments it’s familiar. It really reminds me of some of the artists that came out of the backside of the grunge movement. It has a real west coast sound to it. I think that’s why I have really got into artists from Australia in the last ten years. They remind me of stuff I listened to as a teenager.

    Back to the change of pace. I think this one of the albums strong points. I like how there isn’t a build, it goes up and down. It flows really nicely. This mixed with some great song writing makes it a winner so me.

    It’s on heavy rotation. The kids seem to like it which is a bonus as well. Thanks for sharing brother!

  2. David Allison

    Gosh, I am struggling with this one. I don’t know why. She’s obviously very talented lyrically, and the album really has something to say – both clearly about a break-up and just about being a young woman in the world dealing with men’s shit.

    But musically? Urgh. It does NOTHING for me. it mostly meanders along, led by an anonymous-sounding twangy guitar that never deviates from the same sound. It washes over me like aural wallpaper. I keep mixing one song up with another. And I’ve rarely managed to get through it in one sitting without losing interest.

    It sounds like so many other indie singer-songwriters, that I just can’t pick out enough musically that is interesting, at least to stupid old me. I just wish it had more personality. It feels like it’s apologising for its existence, if not in words, then in sound. I need a bit more to hook me in.

    Normally I’d say that maybe it’ll open itself up to me in time. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen this time. Sorry, Julia. It’s not you, it’s me.

    • misterstory

      I didn’t see that coming. I get it. I recognise the critique but … Oh well. I actually thought you’d say something like ‘bit too Big Thief’ which perhaps you kind of did? I think I probably choose this when I need some balance and calm, one man’s balance and calm is a another man’s meandering and anonymous?

      • David Allison

        “I think I probably choose this when I need some balance and calm, one man’s balance and calm is a another man’s meandering and anonymous”

        I think that’s it. So weird, isn’t it? I LOVE Big Thief, and I don’t find them meandering and anonymous at all, but I can imagine plenty do!

  3. misterstory

    I didn’t see that coming. I get it. I recognise the critique but … Oh well. I actually thought you’d say something like ‘bit too Big Thief’ which perhaps you kind of did? I think I probably choose this when I need some balance and calm, one man’s balance and calm is a another man’s meandering and anonymous?

  4. whyohwhyohwhy

    First impressions: good. It doesn’t stand out as really different – and there’s lots of parallels to many other artists we’ve had before – Aldous Hardling, Julie Byrne – but that’s a good thing. I think one thing this blog’s done is turn me onto a lot of female artists that I’d never have found otherwise, and that’s to be cherished.

    The songs are slow-burning, smoky and rich, and they instantly attract. I’m not sure I’ve fully connected with it (yet?) but it’s a really good listen, but perhaps a bit of a ‘background’ album at the moment, given me not having had a chance to fully listen undisturbed (story of my life).

    I think with all the business of life now, I gravitate towards more soothing and ethereal, simple music when I need some calm, and many albums on here have given me that in abundance. Will I fully see this album for what it is, or will it file under ‘break glass in case of stress’? I’m not sure, but it’s really nice to have in my collection. Time will tell.

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