Writing a live review is like creating a caricature drawing. Although not 100% accurate, a caricature enhances the traits and characteristics of a person. A review has to do the same thing. There are moments and meaning that stand out at every show. These are the pieces that enhance, that tell a story, that communicate what others felt and witnessed.
Fresh off her new release of PRE PLEASURE, Melbourne artist Julia Jacklin brought her caricature joyride tour to the Fine Line Minneapolis. The third release from indie pop/folk artist Jacklin, PRE PLEASURE dwells in relationship limbo while still steeped in the raw, direct lyricism, and emotional intimacy that are trademarks from two prior releases. For the setlist, Jacklin navigated through new songs, past favorites, and a surprising encore selection.
Julia’s opening solo acoustic set was attention-grabbing. Her band then joined for “Be Careful With Yourself,” which eased the show into a relaxed groove. This mood stuck throughout the evening, with the exception of dance-able “I Was Neon” and “Pressure to Party.”
“Love, Try Not To Let Go” is one of those caricature tracks off PRE PLEASURE. There’s a subtle standout character in the production of the new songs. Most of the tracks off her new album were written on a Roland keyboard with built-in band tracks instead of on the guitar. This fresh approach gives the keyboard a stronger part, while opening song for more orchestral parts and heavier guitar.
“Lydia Wears A Cross” follows that trait with a keyboard drum loop, with the keyboard providing the main foundation. Her performance lures you in, clasps your heart, and holds you close.
Jacklin shared multiple stories about Minnesota native Bob Dylan and also mentioned playing the same stage as local heartthrob Josh Hartnett. “Body,” which featured the stage draped in green and gold lighting, stood out as the pure silent moment in the evening where the audience holds their breath, wanting to hear every single word.
Simply, Jacklin commanded the stage. Beautifully powerful and delicate at the same time, “Body” is the quintessential song to introduce yourself to Julia Jacklin.
The encore was also special. She began with “Hay Plain,” a surprising choice that she rarely plays, a vulnerable optimism about relationships ending the night. A bittersweet performance that felt like a midnight car ride, “Hay Plain” was a poetic recap from her 2016 debut album.
“I won’t survive the night if you won’t stay in your laneYeah I’m heading away from that wide sunset Wondering if my new man Misses me yet”
Julia Jacklin’s stark, wispy, emotional voice burrows inside you. Her confessional alt-country, tense indie rock music deserves to be felt inside a room with others. It’s a communion of heartbreak and honest optimism that heals you most when you’re surrounded by others. If you had to draw a caricature from a Julia Jacklin show, it would entail a distorted smirk, teary eyes, and a huge thumping heart.