For singer songwriter Jack River, also known as Holly Rankin, her debut album Sugar Mountain is a “souvenir of my youth” as it recaptures what she feels were her “most fascinating years of writing.”
Sugar Mountain is undoubtably a pop record but upon further inspection Rankin is much more nuanced artists than any other within the genre. City Hub spoke with Rankin as she geared up for her national tour to gain more of an understanding of what shaped Jack River into the artist she is today.
For Rankin this record has been in the works for eight years and is a representation of her her life’s work up to this point.
“This record is very special and certainly didn’t come easy at all,” she explained, “I’ve chipped away at it through really fun times and really hard times, and now after years I’ve got something that I’ve put my life into.”
Growing up in the small coastal town of Forster Rankin lived an idilic childhood until tragically her life was thrown into turmoil following the sudden passing of her younger sister in a freak accident. This event fractured a young Rankin’s psyche and forever changed her path in life.
“I was having a completely different experience to that of my friends. They were going to uni and getting jobs, having these bright teenage years. I was in limbo.”
Coupling this with her love for honest, heartfelt music and the mainstream pop music which surrounded her Rankin has forged a path and genre of her own.
“I grew up loving old American folk music, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez because they always had a great sense of honesty,” she recalled before continuing, “I always try to make sure that honesty is something that is always in my work because things don’t always have to be shiny.”
Whilst she still stands by the idea that things don’t have to always be shiny Rankin does want to ensure people that her show will have “lots of lights and sparkly things” to complement her heartfelt honest music.
With this tour being her biggest headline shows to date there are understandably mixed emotions in the lead up.
“I’m very excited and scared, because these shows are so big and there are so many people coming, but I feel like it will be a beautiful moment to share the album and be as honest as possible. It’s always so humbling to see people singing along because the songs have affected them in some way.”
Sep 28. The Metro Theatre, 624 George St, Sydney. $31.75+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.metrotheatre.com.au