Climbing to new heights with Julia Jacklin on Arvos with Grace and Al
August 31st 2022
- Julia Jacklin :: Interview With Grace Farrell and Al Grigg
Celebrating the release of her expansive new album PRE PLEASURE, Julia Jacklin made her hotly anticipated return to the FBi studios to chat with Grace and Al about the long ascent to her most authentic work yet.
The end of a long term relationship loomed large over the 10 tracks that made up Julia Jacklin’s previous record Crushing. With a heart piercing sincerity, Crushing was a sounding board for the JJ fan collective conscious to navigate the trials of love and connection. On PRE PLEASURE, Julia Jacklin finds a new joyful focus on the relationships in her life, observing them from a bird’s-eye view.
“Over the last few years, I felt like I went through every single emotion a human being can feel… So it might be a bit more chaotic thematically across this record, but it’s kind of focusing on other types of relationships in my life. It’s a bit more joyful but also like resigned to my fate… A bit more accepting of the way things are. I feel like I’ve spent the last couple of years thinking about my people and how I can be a better friend, a better daughter.”
This newfound perspective has illuminated aspects of Julia’s songwriting practice. While it is an important map for writer and listener alike, PRE PLEASURE has shifted Julia’s focus to the subjects of her songs.
“I used to think that songwriting was this amazing tool that you could use to sort things out and figure your life out, but I think having actual conversations with the people you’re singing about is more useful. I think I’m learning to do both now.”
While Julia may have shifted her thinking on the function of songwriting, she still remains firmly grounded in her processes. With tracks on PRE PLEASURE taking either three minutes or three years to tease out, Julia revealed how hustle and bustle is still important to her creative process.
“I went away to do some writing, which was terrible. I need to be very busy and distracted to write music. I think if I do that classic go to a cabin in the woods and try and be creative, I just want to die.”
With Crushing being a more intimate affair sonically, PRE PLEASURE sees Julia at her most confident. The album is quintessential Julia Jacklin raised to new heights: taking the sonic elements we know and love, and building them around vast orchestral backing and gliding synths.
“This is definitely another step on the ladder… I don’t know where the ladders going, but there’s a few things like… I used to be really embarrassed in studios to suggest if we could try strings on something or lean into something like synths or drum machines, because that’s not really my wheel house. I’m such a guitar singer… I’ve never felt confident throwing that out there… This time I’m a bit older, a bit more confident in myself.”
It’s no secret that following an album as beloved as Crushing is a huge undertaking, but the task of topping merch as iconic as Julia’s green Crushing sweater is possibly even loftier. Grace and Al dug deeper into the pressures of designing beautiful merch.
“I feel like that’s my proudest achievement. I think merch is really difficult because you don’t want to just make a bunch of landfill. I made a couple of t-shirts and they just looked bad… I opened for Mitski in 2018 and her merch desk was so amazing and I was like, UGH how do I do it? I feel like the crushing jumper was my first success… I feel like it was my one crowning achievement… it’s hard to follow up, I’m not worried about the music.”
Want to hear more from our chat with Julia Jacklin? Listen to her full interview with Grace and Al up top! You can also listen to her voice in all the beauty of PRE PLEASURE below.