REVIEW // Jack River – Palo Alto

Jack River

A song worthy for your next road trip.

It’s easy to fob off the constant stream of indie folk guitar songs being produced daily. So when one of these breed of songs stands out, you know it stands out. ‘Palo Alto’ is from the latest noteworthy songwriter on the block – Jack River. Real name Holly Rankin, she’s from a coastal town in NSW. And you can definitely hear the winding ocean roads in her music, from the far-flung synths to the country sensibilities. Fittingly, her latest ep is titled Highway Songs No.2.

Let’s talk about the carelessly emotional way in which she delivers ‘Palo Alto’ into your ears: it’s bewitching! Jack River creates this rocking and rolling sensation by letting all the words cascade into each other. This unique quality in her music is her X-factor. And it all makes a lot of sense knowing that she used to dabble in psychedelic music.

Jack River describes ‘Palo Alto’ as a “folder for memories and sentiments over a long stretch of time…it’s about letting go but not giving up, melancholic-but-sure endings, and people realising magic when it’s too late – even though you knew it all along.” While this obviously makes zero sense, she’s certainly got a way with words.

While she’s singing about driving to Mexico from Palo Alto, it’s not the exotic Southern Californian frivolity you might initially think of. Her friend actually just lives in a Sydney apartment called Palo Alto. But this sun-drenched tune will still take you to those Pacific Ocean beaches.


Hometown: Forster, Australia.
Latest EP: Highway Songs No.2, out October 2016 via I OH YOU.
Sounds like: Ali Barter, Cub Sport, Amy Shark.
Say what? Jack River is a pirate name her and her friends made up.

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