The new Julia Jacklin album, Don't Let The Kids Win, out now on Polyvinyl Records, is a collection of stunning tunes which can best be described as alt-country, even though that label isn't quite accurate.
If "Pool Party" has a faint trace of stuff like Lucinda Williams, it's got more of a trace of Lana Del Rey about it too. Similarly, the catchy "Coming of Age" rides by on a big hook that's as much Maria McKee as it is Neko Case. Yes, ostensibly this is "country music" of a sort, never mind that Jacklin is from Australia. And, yes, there's a bit of a twang about things here at times but, really, what we're hearing throughout this record is as much the sort of big pop that Dusty Springfield pursued as it is the kind of thing Loretta Lynn perfected. Jacklin wisely keeps things simple, and that means that a quiet track like "Small Talk" gets to shine without too much extra being added to the production. But the highlight of Don't Let The Kids Win is clearly the near-epic "Hay Plain" which sees Jacklin take on the mantle of Kendra Smith of Opal, or Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. Veering closer to alt-rock here than alt-country, Jacklin owns this one and this is the song that made me a firm fan of what's on offer here.
Don't Let The Kids Win is a fine collection from this relatively new performer and I urge you to seek this one out now instead of waiting to stumble upon it like I did. More details on Don't Let The Kids Win via Polyvinyl Records. Follow Julia Jacklin via her official website.