The sweltering Texas heat may be responsible for breaking her guitar string during an early Sunday afternoon set at the Austin City Limits Festival, but sweat couldn't shake Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin's low-key swagger on the Honda Stage. And when we say "low-key," we really mean "low-key"—the 29-year-old, clad in a casually trendy plaid schoolgirl skirt, introduced herself with a simple, "Hi, I'm Julia Jacklin, I'm from Australia. That's me, that's all, I'm going to play some songs I wrote myself."
She started the set with "Body," a soft, careening ballad about the end of a real-life relationship and her ex's possession of some NSFW photos.
"I guess it's just my life, it's just my body," she chants at the end of the song, a track that's so specific and personal, yet captures the experience of so many women.
That opening number is the softest we get from Jacklin, though, as she went on to showcase her range with wailers like "Leadlight," from her debut album, and the spiraling, desperately beautiful "Don't Know How to Keep Loving You," her most popular song to date. A riotous guitar solo breaks out at the end of the song, and her voice rises up to meet it. She's more powerful than that quiet introduction would have you think.
She closes the set with "Head Alone," a single about keeping her body for herself from potential romantic partners.
"I don't want to touched all the time. I raised my body up to be mine."
She's not low-key when she sings those lines.