Australian singer and songwriter Julia Jacklin has shared a new holiday single “baby jesus is nobody’s baby now,” where she sings about celebrating the Christmas holiday while evacuated due to bushfires. The single had been written last year, while more than 46 million acres burned in Australia during the 2019-2020 fire season that is now called Black Summer. The music video that accompanied the track had been directed by Jacklin and Nick Mckk.
“2019 was a pretty rough one for my family,” Jacklin said in a press statement. “I was touring the whole year carrying a lot of guilt for not being able to be at home. Singing super sad songs every night was a blessing and a curse depending on the day. I was imagining Christmas as being this time where we all came together again and took a collective breath but then the bushfires hit and my family live in the country so it was a direct threat. I was living in Melbourne, still pretty new to it, and wasn’t able to go home, the roads were blocked and my family were being evacuated periodically for a month. At one point Melbourne was blanketed in smoke from the fires, the sun was this menacing red, it felt apocalyptic and pretty hopeless. I wrote this in my room looking forward to 2020, hoping it would be a reset of some kind lol.”
Dressed as Mrs. Claus and standing in front of a backdrop decorated with clouds, Jacklin sings about celebrating the holidays at her aunt’s house and wanting her family to stop speaking. Her hums and soft voice are accompanied by a soft guitar, Jacklin’s lyrics focusing on the holiday with her family, as she sings “She lost the baby/My house still burnt down.”
Jacklin’s family helped create the visuals for the video, with her mother, Marion Crossma, designing and making the costume herself while her brother, Eamonn Briggs, painted the backdrop. Last January, she also participated in the Grill For Good Event to benefit the Australian Bushfires, with Mac DeMarco and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard also participating in the event.
The single follows her two tracks “to Perth, before the border closes” and “CRY,” which had both appeared on a 7″ that had been released for Sub Pop’s Sub Pop Singles Club, Vol. 5. Jacklin released her last studio album, Crushing, in 2019. She had been set to appear on The National‘s spring 2020 tour along with Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Sharon Van Etten, however the tour was eventually postponed due to the pandemic. Lana Del Rey invited Jacklin to perform onstage with her during Del Rey’s concert in Denver for the Norman Fucking Rockwell tour, with the pari covering Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.”