IN THE STU­DIO: JU­LIA JACK­LIN

Sydney singer-song­writer heads into the bush for hushed sec­ond.

Q (UK) - - Contents - VIC­TO­RIA SE­GAL

A sneak look at the Aussie singer’s sec­ond al­bum, out early next year.

With her first al­bum, the de­cep­tively dreamy coun­try pop of 2016’ s Don’t Let The Kids Win, Ju­lia Jack­lin sen­si­bly took a “very fresh, light and healthy” ap­proach to her work. The Sydney-based singer-song­writer went to New Zea­land to make the record, where she would wake early, walk into town for cof­fee, work from 10 in the morn­ing un­til 10 at night, and then go home for a proper sleep. Mak­ing her sec­ond al­bum, am­bigu­ously ti­tled Crush­ing, was an al­to­gether dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence. “We slept in the stu­dio, ba­si­cally,” laughs Jack­lin, who stayed up all night with her band, drum­mer Clay­ton Allen, bassist Harry Fuller and guitarist Blain Cun­neen. “We worked from 4pm to 4am and we’d sleep dur­ing the day. With my first record, some­times you didn’t feel like you got to see what could have hap­pened af­ter hours.” That mys­tery was solved here: “You just get to this point where you’re a lit­tle delu­sional, be­ing a bit silly, and then you just go to that thing that, maybe ear­lier in the day, you felt a lit­tle em­bar­rassed to do. I think we got to a re­ally won­der­ful place round about the 2am mark be­cause we’d spent all day to­gether and we were just re­ally in tune.” Crush­ing’s mood of in-the-room, late-night in­ti­macy was fos­tered by place as much as time. The il­lu­sion of iso­la­tion was en­cour­aged by their three-week bil­let at The Grove Stu­dios in Man­grove Moun­tain, just two hours’ drive from Jack­lin’s home yet hid­den away down a bush road, con­cealed from other hu­man life. “I thought I would have peo­ple com­ing in and hang­ing out,” says Jack­lin, “but once we got in there, I quickly re­alised I wanted to have noth­ing to do with

any­one out­side of the band. I told all my friends, ‘Please don’t ask me about how it’s go­ing be­cause I don’t even want to have to try to anal­yse it at the mo­ment.’” On the first day of record­ing, her phone died. She didn’t sort it out for two weeks. Jack­lin wanted to record with pro­ducer Burke Reid af­ter ad­mir­ing his work with Gareth Lid­di­ard’s psych-rock­ers The Drones. In­spired by Smog’s 2005 al­bum A River Ain’t Too Much To Love and Out On The Week­end from Neil Young’s Har­vest, the aim was to catch that mo­ment “when the vo­cals come in and just hit you in the mid­dle of your fore­head, right in the cen­tre of your brain.” The noc­tur­nal work pat­terns were valu­able here, as Jack­lin ex­plains when she de­scribes the record­ing of un­rav­elled lament Turn Me Down. “I think we got some­thing be­cause I was just so ex­hausted and quite emo­tional,” she says, re­call­ing take af­ter take. “I had noth­ing left – I thought.” Lis­ten­ing back next day, though, it was clear she had ex­actly what she needed. “I needed to just tire my­self out like a child to be able to get to that point where I didn’t care.” Car­ing too much – or in the wrong ways – has some­times been a habit that Jack­lin has needed to shake: she ad­mits that the first few days of be­ing in the stu­dio, sur­rounded by peo­ple wait­ing for her to “drive this ship” are like “im­pos­tor syn­drome times a mil­lion.” “What’s so won­der­ful about mak­ing records is that you’re try­ing to cap­ture a mo­ment in time,” she con­tin­ues. “It’s not about cap­tur­ing this per­fect piece of work. It’s just about be­ing, ‘I’m an artist and I’m this age’ and this al­bum is Ju­lia aged 26 to 27. What­ever skill level I’m at, how­ever my voice sounds at that time, then that’s what it is. I think that’s re­ally spe­cial.” Two records in, Ju­lia Jack­lin has found a new con­fi­dence in her own in­stincts.

“Once we got into the stu­dio, I quickly re­alised I wanted to have noth­ing to do with any­one out­side of the band.”

In the zone: Ju­lia Jack­lin de­scribes her new record as “cap­tur­ing a mo­ment in time…”

On the night shift: Jack­lin worked 4pm to 4am ses­sions in the stu­dio.

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