Our fortnightly feature of a new or emerging artist from this vast nation falls rather haphazardly on the iconic Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Check out our previous features here!
Although I was originally working my way around Australia in a counter-clockwise direction for this feature, I had to jump back down to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales after hearing this on the radio a few weeks back.
For those unfamiliar with the Blue Mountains, it’s a world heritage area and National Park which lies an hours drive west of Sydney. Here, the hum of the city is nothing but a distant memory and the landscape opens up into vast valleys which stretch as far as the eye can see before fading into the hazy blue horizon. It’s an area of intense natural beauty and the small towns which dot the central plateau have become home for many artists and creative seeking observational inspiration.
Where – Blue Mountains, NSW. One of Australia’s most iconic and visited National Parks. An area of natural wonder which still catches a trickle down of Sydney’s cultural energy.
Who – Julia Jacklin
What – Alternative folk singer based in the serene Blue Mountains. With a debut LP on the way she is definitely one to keep an eye on. Inspired by the likes of Fiona Apple and Angel Olsen, she has gone on to create a sound that is hauntingly beautiful and perfectly captures the atmosphere and grandeur of her surroundings.
Although her sound is evidently inspired by the mountainous surroundings of her childhood, this is not strictly country music. The guitar cruises lazily in the background and is reminiscent of the alternative folk and indie sounds championed by the likes of Courtney Barnett or Mac Demarco. But these comparisons fade away when she starts to sing. I couldn’t help of thinking of Lana Del Rey upon first listen, her voice has a haunting resonance that demands attention and speaks of inner turmoil.
Beyond the sonic pleasures of the music, Julia is one hell of a songwriter and lyricist. Her lyrics showcase a punchy wit and am impeccable ability at landing on profound moments, just like on Pool Party with the line “My heart is heavy when your high”. It’s a real treat to listen to and promises huge things for the future. Perhaps a future challenger for Courtney Barnett’s crown as the pride of Australian lyricism and music.