We spoke with Julia Jacklin about the inspiration behind her new album, Don't Let The Kids Win, and Britney Spears (yes, that Britney Spears).
How did growing up in The Blue Mountains in Australia impact your songwriting? What parts about living there are most influential to your creativity?
I don't think it did really. I didn't become a musician until after I moved to the city. I think the desire to get out definitely influenced me in someway.
I've been back there since I've been touring quite a bit and not seeing the point of paying rent in Sydney. It's been nice to go back there as an adult. You can appreciate it a lot more. As a teenager, I just felt starved for excitement.
Don't Let The Kids Win is your debut release under your own name. Is this your first experience recording an album?
Yes, it's my first full length record. I recorded some stuff with an old band a few years ago.
How did your music get discovered and reach the audience you've cultivated today? It seems difficult to come relatively out of nowhere and reach the level of acclaim you've achieved with this record.
It's been a relatively long process in my mind, I guess. I've been playing for years around Sydney and after I made the record there was a good deal of sitting around worrying no one was going to hear it. I got a great manager who really believed in the record and then we played SXSW which opened some doors for me. Just working hard on endless touring has really helped!
Interestingly enough, you credit Britney Spears for some of your art. Can you please expound on this phenomenon?
Oh, her early success kicked me into gear as an 11-year-old. I got singing lessons because I felt like I needed to get to work if I wanted to be a successful pop star.
What was most influential during the songwriting for Don't Let the Kids Win?
Just being in my early 20s and wondering how everything was going to pan out. Changes in the way I thought about what it means to love someone and the panic of realizing I might not get where I want to go. Pretty average young person fears.
Where was it recorded and what was that process like? What was the production process like?
It was recorded in New Zealand with Ben Edwards. I spent 3 weeks at his house - the studio is connected. It was really calm and great and exactly what I wanted. Recording away from home is important for me I think.
You've been announced on the lineups of some big festivals across the world. Is it a surreal experience seeing your name on these lineups? What do you most look forward to about these big events?
European catering! And hopefully running into some heroes whilst eating the catering. But yeah, it's very bizarre. It's been hard to really digest. But it definitely makes me smile.
You're taking off for a tour with Andy Shauf across the US. Have you toured the U.S. before? Does being on the road motivate you to write new songs or craft new arrangements of your songs?
Yes, I did a tour last year with Marlon Williams which was a great tour. I definitely feel motivated, but I don't usually feel like I have the time to do it. I find it hard to write when I don't have much alone time. We try playing the songs a bit differently sometimes but usually your needs boil down to eating, sleeping and trying to play a great show night after night.
What have you been listening to lately that has been most noteworthy?
I've been listening to Mitski a whole lot - her records Bury Me at Makeout Creek and Puberty 2. She is just incredible and has given me a jolt of inspiration lately.