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      Julia Jacklin in San Francisco

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      November 23, 2019

      Saturday   9:00 PM

      628 Divisadero Street
      San Francisco, California 94117

      Julia Jacklin

      with Christian Lee Hutson
      The second full-length album from Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin, Crushing embodiesevery possible meaning of its title word. Its an album formed from sheer intensity of feeling, an in-the-moment narrative of heartbreak and infatuation. And with her storytelling centered on bodies and crossed boundaries and smothering closeness, Crushing reveals how our physical experience of the world shapes and sometimes distorts our inner lives. This album came from spending two years touring and being in a relationship, and feeling like I never had any space of my own, says the Melbourne-based artist. For a long time I felt like my head was full of fear and my body was just this functional thing that carried me from point A to B,and writing these songs was like rejoining the two. The follow-up to her 2016 debut Dont Let the Kids Win, Crushing finds Jacklin continually acknowledging whats expected of her, then gracefully rejecting those expectations. As a result, the album invites self-examination and a possible shift in the listeners way of getting around the worldan effect that has everything to do with Jacklins openness about her own experience. I used to be so worried about seeming demanding that Id put up with anything, which I think iscommonyou want to be chill and cool, but it ends up taking so much of your emotional energy, says Jacklin. Now Ive gotten used to calling out things Im not okay with, instead of just burying my feelings to make it easier on everyone. Ive realized that in order to keep the peace, you have tospeak up for yourself and say what you really want.Produced by Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, The Drones) and recorded at The Grove Studios (a bushland hideaway built by INXS Garry Gary Beers), Crushing sets Jacklins understated defiance against a raw yet luminous sonic backdrop. In all the songs, you can hear every sound from every instrument; you can hear my throat and hear me breathing, she says. It was really important to me that you can hear everything for the whole record, without any studio tricks getting in the way. On the album-opening lead single Body, Jacklin proves the power of that approach, turning out a mesmerizing vocal performance even as she slips into the slightest murmur. A starkly composed portrait of a breakup, the song bears an often-bracing intimacy, a sense that youre right in the room with Jacklin as she lays her heart out. And as Body wanders and drifts, Jacklin establishes Crushing as an album that exists entirely on its own time, a work thats willfully unhurried. From there, Crushing shifts into the slow-building urgency of Head Alone, a pointed and electrifying anthem of refusal (sample lyric: I dont want to be touched all the time/I raised my body up to be mine). As a woman, in my case as a touring musician, the way youre touched is different from your male bandmatesby strangers and by those close to you, notes Jacklin. On the full-tilt, harmony-spiked Pressure to Party, she pushes toward another form of emotional freedom. When you come out of a relationship, theres so much pressure to act a certain way, saysJacklin. First its like, Oh, youve gotta take some time for yourself...but then if you take too much time its, Youve gotta get back out there! That song is just my three-minute scream, saying Im going to do what I need to do, when I need to do it. Crushing also shows Jacklins autonomy on songs like Convention, an eye-rolling dismissal of unsolicited advice, presented in elegantly sardonic lyrics (I can tell you wont sleep well, if you dont teach me how to do it right). Elsewhere on Crushing, Jacklin brings her exacting reflection to songs on loss. With its transportive harmonies and slow-burning guitar solo, Dont Know How to Keep Loving You ponders the heartache in fading affection (I want your mother to stay friends with mine/I want this feeling to pass in time). Meanwhile, on Turn Me Downan idiosyncratically arranged track embedded with hypnotic guitar tonesJacklin gives an exquisitely painful glimpse at unrequited devotion (He took my hand, said I see a bright future/Im just not sure that youre in it). That song destroyed me in the studio, says Jacklin of Turn Me Down, whose middle section contains a particularly devastating vocal performance. I remember lying on the floor in a total state between what felt likeendless takes, and if you listen it kind of sounds like Im losing my mind. And on When theFamily Flies In, Jacklin shares her first ever piano-driven piece, a beautifully muted elegy for the same friend to whom she dedicated Dont Let the Kids Win. There are really no words to do justice to what it feels like to lose a friend, says Jacklin. It felt a bit cheap to even try to write a song about it, but this one came out on tour and it finally felt okay to record. Despite its complexity, Crushing unfolds with an ease that echoes Jacklins newfound self-reliance as an artist. Originally from the Blue Mountains, she grew up on her parents Billy Bragg and Doris Day records and sang in musicals as a child, then started writing her own songs in her early 20s. With the first album I was so nervous and didnt quite see myself as a musician yet, but after touring for two years, Ive come to feel like I deserve to be in that space, she says. Throughout Crushing, that sense of confidence manifests in one of the most essential elements of the album: the captivating strength of Jacklins lyrics. Not only proof of her ingenuity and artistic generosity, Jacklins uncompromising specificity and infinitely unpredictable turns of phrase ultimately spring from a certain self-possession in the songwriting process. As I was making this album there was sort of a slow loosening of pressure on myself, Jacklin says. Thereve been some big life changes for me over the last few years, and I just found it too tiring to try to cover things up with a lot of metaphors and word trickery. I just wanted to lay it all out there and trust that, especially at such a tense moment in time, other people might want to hear a little vulnerability.

      Cost: 20.00

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