- Words Cal McIntyre
- Photography Nima Elm
We sail gently down the stream of Jack River, a creative polymath in the truest sense that creates acid folk for you to dream to.
Holly Rankin, the moniker of Jack River, is an artist in the truest sense with her talent spilling and pouring into many mediums where labels hold no bounds.
A talented writer, singer, director, festival curator and badass businesswoman, River has set her sights on the stars and it seems like nothing is going to stop her trajectory into superstardom. It’s clear to hear that any Jack River track is made from the heart and soul alone with each vulnerable lyric plucked from her core. Following a family tragedy, the art of music creation was a lifeline that carried River through the darkest of days, and she ultimately found the light looking for her in the dark places.
The alt-pop lion is a multi-hyphen creative who makes music that embraces you like a warm hug from an old friend. Self-described as “folk laced with acid”, we couldn’t put it any better ourselves. Not only does River have her fingers in many pies creatively, but her heart is also fighting for the state of the world as the climate crisis grows worse daily and we are running out of time. River is a climate ally using her platform and gift to ensure we do our best as a united unit to help our planet.
With a cult following in her homeland of Australia, it’s no wonder why Jack River continues to go from strength to strength with the release of her ‘Stranger Heart’ EP previously this year. As we enter turbulent times in the world, Jack River’s music is a place to find solace in. A sign of a true artist is being able to listen to someone’s work and have it feel personal to exactly you, and that’s the magic of Jack River.
We needed to sail down this river for ourselves, and we think you do also. Dive headfirst into our latest Internet Crush with Jack River below, you won’t regret it.
If you could summarise it, what would be the story of how you became a musician?
A musician – she followed the sounds in her brain, and had felt a wild need to release them into the world. A career musician – she fought through blood, sweat and tears, time, love and perseverance.
How would you describe your sound?
Folk songs laced with acid.
What are some of your first memories of music?
Requesting Billy Ray Cyrus’ ‘Don’t Break My Heart’ on the local radio with my Dad, the Lion King soundtrack – on repeat, the Macarena in the lounge room, and an old scratched ‘Best of the 70s’ in Mum and Dad’s collection.
What’s the best part of being an artist? The worst?
The best is being able to deeply connect with strangers, from feelings that often stem from a place of solace. I think that reinforces the deep rivers of humanity that run through us all. The worst things are the rollercoaster of going from being at home alone, to playing in front of thousands of people, being away from home a lot – and most of us are introverts who need a lot of space, and the fact that you can work the hardest but it might not amount to anything – I think that is the craziest and most frustrating thing about it.
What is something that not many people would know about you?
That I am extremely interested in politics and business. If I could talk all day about political tech, the design of campaigns and the coolest businesses on my radar at the time – I would.
What energy do you want to give off when you perform live?
The kind that swirls up to the stars and hears infinity in their roar, then travels back down to the tiny cells of gold in each person’s heart to reassure them of their infinity. A strength in aloneness, an infinity that makes you feel at ease in the universe.
What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
The re-imagining of the world, what we are all doing, and how we are going to work together as people on the same planet.
What does being in love feel like for you?
Like swimming in a sea of stars, held up in safety by some force of forever. Alive, safe and allowed to be completely oneself, witnessed by the one you love.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
To trust your gut. Probably from my Mum.
Do you have a favourite lyric you’ve written right now?
Probably the chorus of Closer; “Swimmin’ in the dark lazy, car sea dust crazy / Infinity above me, taze me, with your deep sea eyes baby”. It just reminds me of the exact feeling I was writing about at the time. Falling in love without limits, trying to grasp onto slipping memories as you fall.
If you could say one thing to baby Jack, what would it be?
Don’t worry about the future so much, focus on the present and the beautiful people around you, make as much time for your reality as you do for your dreams.