“If you send me 3 albums, I’ll send you 3 albums.”
This is how I came across Crushing by Julia Jacklin, the most transformative album of my summer.
Crushing was revealed to me while I sat at a booth in UCLA’s dining hall among globs of angsty high schoolers in various summer camps. A life-changing friend I barely knew at the time offered to drown out the sound of pre-pubescents by listening to music. In that dining hall booth, Julia Jacklin hit me both like a brick wall and a bag of feathers, if that’s possible.
I didn’t fully acknowledge Crushing as a probable act of God until the lyrics of “Don’t Know How To Keep Loving You” popped out at me on my commute to work. The repetitiveness of “I wanna” and “I want” throughout the first verse, paired with the steady two-line chorus and the haunting descriptions of falling out of love, described the specificities of a plague I thought could only infect me. Jacklin softly and painfully coos out: “What if I cleaned up? What if I worked on my skin? I could scrub until I am red, hot, weak & thin.” This specific sequence of words had me hitting my steering wheel continuously, screaming “oh LORD this is it.”
After this moment, I was launched into a “daydreaming with Julia Jacklin on my morning commute” phase. Crushing is a steady album that crescendos sparingly but powerfully, so my car often felt like an enormous, beautiful, empty cruise ship that only I resided in, rocking up and down with the waves until the occasional crushing, nervous system-altering swell would come along.
The commute to a nine-to-five ended, but Jacklin never did for me. She’s the release of screaming in a parking lot, creating the perfect amount of noise around abusive relationships, devastating breakups, feminism, bodily autonomy, losing and letting go. She perfectly encases all of these themes inside her lovely alt-rock, Dolly Parton-esque sound, and best of all: She’s intimately tied to my life-shattering best friend, who physically came and went with the summer.
So what I’m listening to on repeat is the angelic voice of Julia Jacklin, who is synonymous with summer, my best friend, the movies we watched and the fancy drinks we had, my new outlook on the female body, losing people left and right and the glorious taxation of relationships.