Jack River is a name that we’ve come to know so well thanks to her unique tunes that are so damn catchy! They make you want to dance and if you listen, they actually mean something that everyone can relate to.
For those of you that don’t know, Jack River is the alias of extremely talented musician, singer/songwriter and producer Holly Rankin. She’s an all-around cool girl and after interviewing her we’re crushing hard and absolutely want to be friends! We chat with Holly to get the low down on what’s happening in her world and what goes into making your very first album.
Welcome to the world of Jack River!
For those of us who don’t know, who is Jack River and what’s she all about?
She is a writer, producer and lover of making things. She is all about following the visions in your brain and heart, the ocean, dogs and nature. She is me – Holly.
You’ve also recently started Electric Lady (WHAT AN AMAZING IDEA – LOVE IT!) what urged you to start this amazing group of ladies?
Electric Lady was born out of a will to react, and act when I saw the power of the Women’s March in 2016 and realised that my own industry needed a whole lot of change. The idea is quite simple - to put brilliant women alongside each other on stages across the country, and profile women doing amazing things from all industries. It has already become a FAR greater thing than I ever imagined - so I’m extremely excited to see where we take it in the next few years and beyond.
You have got your debut album ‘Sugar Mountain’ coming out TODAY! How excited are you?!
I am super super excited, I have worked on this album for the better half of 5 years, it has got tears, blood, sweat and a lot of dreams embedded. I can’t consciously comprehend it really - there is no way to be chill with the amount of time spent on it!
We’re big fans of everything you’ve put out to date and are so excited to listen to Sugar Mountain from start to finish – we always have your songs playing in the office! What sort of work goes into putting something like this together?
A ridiculous amount of work - more than anyone would probably ever know. This album, in particular, has taken so, so long to make. From writing, recording and producing; the journey of finding the right team and an audience who cares has taken equally as long.
Music is a fickle strange world to try and crack, it has taken levels of persistence I never knew I had within me; this album is as much about career persistence as it is about music for me. I think that what makes it extra special is that, like climbing Mount Everest or something - the journey becomes as important as the mountain itself.
Have you got a favourite song on the album?
I love them all so much, but one I especially love is Constellation Ball. It was written throughout so many different moments of importance, on the train to a huge interview regarding my sister’s death, on the side of the road in Yosemite when a bus of Japanese tourists pulled over and took a million photos of my best friend and I playing guitars and drinking tea, walking my old dog Sam back in 2013 and wondering why on earth my best friend was on a lead.
Where did the idea for the name ‘Sugar Mountain’ come from? We’re loving it!
It comes from my favourite Neil Young song about leaving youth all too soon. The song is quaint but brings up a whole world of emotion and feeling for me. When I looked back on the album I saw it as this sugary place I had created, an alternate youth, to plough through the one I endured - which was darker and unlike anything I ever imagined would happen.
Sugar Mountain feels like a place of magic that I created to go to, and Neil’s song always sounds like that to me too, a bittersweet dream.
You always seem to have a good time on stage and there’s always good vibes all around when you’re playing. It must be a pretty epic part of your job looking out to the crowd and seeing everyone having a super fun time, is that really important to you? How do you get the crowd pumped?
Hahaha! I am honestly still getting used to it, it’s so strange to play music to a giant crowd and see them sing lyrics back! I am bad at getting the crowd pumped in between songs; I actually want to have a good chat to Dave from Gang of Youths or Florence Welch about how they do it. It’s a form of acting and believing in yourself as the front person - I am confident the moment I am singing, something takes over me and I feel like I could go on forever, hopefully this pumps up the crowd enough for now.
Jack Rivers debut album Sugar Mountain, launches on the 22nd of June jump to the website [here] to get your very own copy of the album. You can also stay up to date on all things Jack River via Instagram [here].