The second full-length album from Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin, Crushing embodies every possible meaning of its title word. It’s an album formed from sheer intensity of feeling, an in-the-moment narrative of heartbreak and infatuation. And with her storytelling centered on bodies and crossed boundaries and smothering closeness, Crushing reveals how our physical experience of the world shapes and sometimes distorts our inner lives.
“This album came from spending two years touring and being in a relationship, and feeling like I never had any space of my own,” says the Melbourne-based artist. “For a long time I felt like my head was full of fear and my body was just this functional thing that carried me from point A to B, and writing these songs was like rejoining the two.”
Annie Blackman has been writing her way into and out of heartache since adolescence. The NYC-based singer-songwriter makes stirringly vulnerable music to bridge the gap between the head and the heart and untangle what it means to want. A compulsive archivist, she draws inspiration from her own diaries and the hallowed grounds of the notes app on her iPhone. With measured vocals and hypnotic production courtesy of Evan Rasch (Skullcrusher, Runner), she faithfully leads us through her world of faded memories and pensive walks home.
Blackman has a fresh perspective on the beginnings of adulthood, showing through the sharp observations of her recent singles “Glitch” and “Glass House”. On the viral TikTok jammer “Glitch”, she dives into an existential tailspin with quick witted lyrics about simulation theory and the banality of everyday life. The song is insightfully cutting and wise in a manner that is way beyond her years. That same punchiness is displayed in “Glass House” but with a slightly softer focus. She ruminates on feelings of guilt and hypocrisy within the context of a relationship that scales from romantic to platonic at any given moment. That sentiment is explored in more detail with its gentle chorus “If I’m bad and you’re bad then one of us is better.” Blackman describes this as an unhelpful, obsessive way of thinking, but there is a bit of catharsis within the anger.
Annie Blackman’s story continues to unfold quietly and she has clearly cemented herself as a new rising voice to keep on your radar in a world full of constant chaos.
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