You can't help but to win by listening to Julia Jacklin's debut album.Polyvinyl, 2016
7.4 / 10
On her debut album, Don’t Let The Kids Win, Julia Jacklin makes it clear that her voice is one to be reckoned with. The 11-song album balances alt-country with indie pop and just a smidge of rock. It’s a perfect introduction to Jacklin’s wide range of skills, and while it’s good, it’s a slow-churning affair, much like Aldous Harding’s recent debut. However, Don’t Let The Kids Win does win as the better album. Jacklin is a superb songwriter and seemingly has paid close attention to the strengths of her cited influences such as Fiona Apple, Anna Calvi, and Angel Olsen. She’s most comparable to Aly Spaltro (aka Lady Lamb), another artist who defies genre pigeonholing.
On Don’t Let The Kids Win, Jacklin is a sultry seductress — “Same Airport, “Different Man” — Jacklin channeling Nancy Sinatra (kill those Lana Del Rey comparisons before they even start!). She’s a confident rocker — “Coming of Age”. She’s the charismatic singer/songwriter that can stretch out songs to where you hope they never end — “Motherland” and “Hay Plain”. Every song is a playground for Jacklin’s voice, her strongest weapon which she has been sharpening since her childhood. Still, my favorite moment on the album is when Jacklin comes alive as a rock star on “Coming of Age”. Unfortunately, it’s really the only time we hear this side of her. But debut albums are much like pilots for television shows; they hint at the potential that is to come. I think Julia Jacklin has good things in store for us.