Julia Jacklin has announced her third studio full-length, PRE PLEASURE, and shared the lead single, “Lydia Wears a Cross.” The follow-up to 2019’s Crushing (one of that year’s best LPs), the new album arrives August 26th via Polyvinyl.
Jacklin first began working on her Crushing follow-up once that records touring cycle had ended, finishing it up during a “frantic few months of recording in Montreal.” “The songs on this record took either three years to write or three minutes,” she said in a press release.
She was joined in Montreal by co-producer Marcus Paquin (The Weather Station, The National) and her Canada-based touring band, including The Weather Station members Ben Whiteley (bass) and Will Kidman (guitar). Drummer Laurie Torres and saxophonist Adam Kinner rounded out the studio band, while frequent Arcade Fire collaborator Owen Pallett arranged and recorded the strings with a full orchestra in Prague.
To find fresh inspiration, Jacklin set aside her guitar and wrote most of the 10 PRE PLEASURE tracks on a Roland keyboard. She also reconnected to “the purity of music fandom” by listening to songs by Céline Dion, Robyn, and Luther Vandross. They were sounds that “brought back a lot of nice, uncomplicated feelings about music,” Jacklin explained. “Pure joy and feeling. And as someone relatively introverted and trying to be cool, Céline was a good person for me to lock onto during this period, because she’s definitely not that. She’s dramatic as hell and incredibly cheesy. I think listening to her helped me get over myself.”
All of this new direction can be heard in “Lydia Wears a Cross.” Led by piano pounding over a simple drum machine beat, the song patiently builds on synth and a the slow spiral of a distorted guitar. It’s all just a platform for Jacklin’s captivating melodies as she sings of “a seven-year-old Jesus Christ Superstar fanatic attending catholic school trying to figure out which way is up.”
“The music video was filmed by my constant collaborator and friend Nick Mckk at Split Point lighthouse,” Jacklin said. “I played a show close by recently and asked on stage if anyone could let me film inside. Someone in the crowd knew a guy and that was it. The rest was filmed in the streets of Northcote, Melbourne.”
Watch the clip for Julia Jacklin’s “Lydia Wears a Cross” below, followed by the PRE PLEASURE artwork and tracklist.