There are some records that grip your attention within the first few bars and quicken your heart with the possibility of falling in love with a new artist. Julia Jacklin’s Don’t Let The Kids Win, makes you feel just that – utterly captivated by a sound that comes from a place of true authenticity. Her smooth, expressive voice and warm guitar tones create a cozy sonic nook you can sink into. The first note of the album feels like an exhale and from there, it unfolds into one gorgeous song after another. Don’t Let The Kids Win flows flawlessly with Jacklin’s rich vocal tone oozing like honey over twangy guitar. Her earnest delivery of each introspective lyric gives the album depth and emotional rawness that rushes through you. Moments of sparse instrumentation are intoxicating in their intimacy. They are the kind of songs that would be at home in an old, dark, nearly empty country tavern while a few couples quietly slow-dance, lost in the aching space. These songs are quiet beauties full of imagery. Jacklin is a stellar songwriter who breaks your heart like only the best songwriters can.
Julia Jacklin shared the stories behind each song on Don’t Let The Kids Win with Stories Behind The Songs. Here is an inside look Behind The Album, Track by Track:
I was still finishing the lyrics the night before we recorded it. I’d never really played it live so I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to sound like. We recorded it once completely differently, with a very different feel. I really liked it for the first couple of days but then was like, ah, this is a bit nuts. It was super fast and drum heavy so it felt a little stressful. It’s about wanting someone in your life to get help if not for themselves then for you. Kind of inspired by the girl guide pool parties my family hosted when I was a kid.
This is one of my favourite songs and one of the first ones I wrote. Couldn’t really get it in the studio. Ben really helped out. I just remember mentioning something about how I heard a choir at the end and before I could say another word he was in there yelling his heart out into a microphone. It documents the tail end of a great relationship.
“Coming Of Age”
It’s about hearing an artist you really like and then freaking out that you’ll never make anything anywhere near as good and no one will care about you or care about your music. You know the feeling. Then being like, ah fuck it, just do it and see what happens. The heaviest the record gets I’d say.
This song I wrote about a good friend of mine. Just about encouraging your friends to keep pushing with music, letting them know you’re there with them. One of my favourite recordings.
This song nearly didn’t make the record. I don’t know why, l love it now and I love performing it. There was something missing in NZ and I didn’t really connect with it. But here it is! It’s about wondering if people I don’t know will ever come to my gigs and not my long suffering and completely amazing supportive family and friends.
My dad resembles the actor Zach Braff and that was the springboard for this song. Real deep. I also just wanted to write a song with only 2 chords. Ben had some great visions for this track. I think it was the first one we recorded over there. I was a bit nervous because Tom, my drummer, didn’t realise his passport was out of date so I had to get a session guy in to record it. He was so great though and brought something different to the recording.
I really love this song so of course it was super hard to record. I think I recorded this on the last day. I just had to get it down. Because it’s a live take, it’s hard to ever feel super confident with the whole piece. I made Ben leave the studio so it was just the dogs and me in there.
Hey what do you know, another song about not being heard and wondering if I ever will be! Come on Julia.
“Same Airport, Different Man”
This is where I get the bluesiest I probably ever will. Just a repetitive song about the issues that arise with mixing a love for travel and a love for loving people. Also how as I get older the less drama I need in relationships. That drama doesn’t mean it’s better.
It was my first time driving back from Adelaide on my own. I had just gotten onto the Hay Plain and my petrol light went on. It was a scary but really beautiful drive. The sun was setting and I just think the Hay Plain is so spectacular. I wrote this song whilst driving, just singing away trying to distract myself from the looming empty tank situation.
“Don’t Let The Kids Win”
This was the last song I wrote for the album and it ended up being the title track. I think it sums up the theme of the record nicely and where I was in my life at the time. Doubting everything but a bit too tired to let it get to me too much. Just kind of going, well, yeah, I’m freaking out about getting older and running out of time but so is everyone! So just sing about it, move on and keep working.
Julia Jacklin has been featured in the Stories Behind The Songs Playlist Series. Listen to Julia Jacklin on SBTS Standouts – The March Collection, SBTS Standouts – The October Collection, SBTS Standouts – The November Collection and SBTS Favourites.
Follow Julia Jacklin:
Twitter: @JuliaJacklin Instagram: @juliajacklin