Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin released two new songs for Sub Pop Singles Club, Vol. 5, “to Perth, before the border closes” and B-side “CRY.” The 7’’ is her first new music since last summer’s Triple A Like a Version cover of The Strokes’ “Someday.”
The A-side is about Jacklin deciding to stay in Perth during the COVID-19 lockdown instead of Melbourne. She was just finishing up a year-long world tour for her last album Crushing when she found out she had a week to make the decision. In a statement, she said, “I’ve moved around a lot the last 5 years; chasing things, love, work, something new, whatever and there’s always this fear that I’m leaving good things behind just to go somewhere else and be lonely. Whispering “everything changes” to myself helps get me to sleep at night. I started writing this song in Melbourne and finished it in Perth. It was like a little song bridge between the two cities to make the change easier.”
Starting with a memorable acoustic guitar riff and gentle singing of nostalgia-filled lyrics, a warm bass line and low-key drums join in until the song eventually builds into an emotional release as Jacklin sings “Everything changes/Everything changes/Everything is changing/Everything is changing.” The climax is possibly the most she’s rocked out since she made the indie rock album Phantastic Ferniture. A final verse leaves the parting words, “I got a feeling I won’t do it alone/It’s just a feeling though.”
An accompanying video showcases clips recorded by Jacklin. She zooms in on her frequent targets of choice, memorable signs and depictions of faces. There’s dolls, billboards, tombstones and demonstrations of Jacklin’s sense of humor.
“CRY” is a “Dolly Parton-inspired stream-of-consciousness,” according to the press release. Jacklin’s lyrics cover her sadness with a bit of a dark comedic twist, “Hiding my depression/From my housemates/I don’t know them well enough yet/To cry in my kitchen.” Her backing band, three Perth musician friends who play on both tracks, make this track sound notably lush.
There’s also a note on the songs’ producer Ryan Brennen that explains that Brennen was the first producer she recorded with nine years prior. Jacklin said she could “really see how we’ve both changed and grown over that period of time. It was really special.”