Her voice is dreamy and gentle, her harmonies are gorgeous, her folk swagger commands the attention of every person in the room: Julia Jacklin is a force to be reckoned with.
In the soldout Howler bandroom, Jacklin unleashed her album Don’t Let The Kids Win, in her own words, “the album straight up, no surprises.” The setlist was strong, featuring what seemed like hit after hit, despite her one album catalogue, garnering singalongs from the crowd for almost every track. The first half of the set featured highlights in the form of Leadlight and Motherland, starting the show with a huge amount of the self-awareness and emotion that makes her music so appealing and relatable. Her band and sound was tight, teasing excellent things to come from Jacklin’s live shows.
Bearing her acoustic guitar, despite what seemed to be nerves, Jacklin’s musicality was on show. The musician played LA Dream, without her band, but their absence wasn’t noticed until they came back on stage. Jacklin’s voice was completely mesmerising, and holding her own on stage is no struggle.
As the show came to a close, crowd favourite Pool Party echoed out through the room, with almost every voice in the house joining in, before falling quieter than it had all night for the album’s title track. Don’t Let The Kids Win is highly emotional, and much of the room hung on her every word. As Jacklin sang about regrets, and mistakes made when young, (“Don’t let your grandmother die/while you’re away”) it was easy to get lost in her gentle, waltzing voice, as it floated around her soft guitar strumming.
After a roaring applause, Jacklin came out for an encore she was not particularly prepared for, playing a very new song written in the aftermath of Donald Trump and Leonard Cohen. As if it wasn’t already abundantly clear, the almost tongue in cheek song further demonstrated the strength of Jacklin’s lyricism, and made it clear she’s a talent to stay.
By Claire Varley
Highlight: The bloody beauty of Don’t Let The Kids Win.
Lowlight: The few, small lulls in the show that caused chatter around me, making my listening hard.
Crowd Favourite: Pool Party garnered the most cheers and grins and dance moves to boot.