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Jack River Makes The Pop Music You Wished For


You probably don’t know about Australia’s Jack River, but you should. Also known as performer Holly Rankin, Jack River makes the kind of sculpted pop music you wished existed more. Her debut full length Sugar Mountain takes well crafted songwriting and adds pop notes to hone a sound that hasn’t existed since Kylie Minogue came into the pop world, but makes you wish for more of.

In a time where seven producers make one song, or an industry executive adds too much shimmer to a pop performer, Jack River exists on her own. Her songs have a pop sheen but they’re really just well written tracks that the overproduced world of pop music hasn’t tarnished yet. All of the lead singles sound like there’s real instrumentation over computer sounds, and the record stands on its own merits and not of that who worked on it.

The magic lies in how the tracks are represented, with pop underpinnings to traditional singer songwriter notations. This is best exemplified on songs like “Confess” where Rankin’s intriguing voice hasn’t been altered, or on “Fool’s Gold” where the lead in is actually a synthy bass mixed with an actual guitar. The slow build on “So High” also showcases that these are songs first, and pop tracks second.

That’s not to say that pop sheen doesn’t occur on the record. The song “Limo Song” definitely has a disco vibe behind its sparkle. The almost torch song qualities of “Stardust & Rust” pop off when the shimmering beats hit as well. And “Fault Line” has plenty of groove worthy sounds that can make anyone want to get down. The album is just different in a world full of the same, and that’s what makes it so wonderful.

You can stream Sugar Mountain on all platforms, you can purchase it in all digital store fronts, or directly from the Jack River web store.  Jack River will be touring in Australia starting December 01 at Wine Machine in McLaren Vale, Australia until January 12 at Grown Your Own in Tuncurry. A complete listing of her tour dates can be accessed here

Image Credits: Photo by Alex Wall.

David Garrick

David Garrick has spent the last five years interviewing some of the most intriguing and engaging artists performing today. Everyone from Angel Olsen to Phoebe Bridgers, Wire to Yo La Tengo, Snail Mail to Soccer Mommy, Ghost to First Aid Kit, The Breeders to Protomartyr, and many more. He's a giant fan of music of pretty much any genre; but especially to the underdogs. He's been known to see more concerts in a week than many people will see in a year.


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