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With ‘Sugar Mountain’, Jack River has released one of the greatest Australian debut albums of the past decade

Hailing from Forster, a small town in New South Wales, Holly Rankin – the face behind Jack River – certainly has nothing but big things ahead of her if Sugar Mountain is anything to go by.

To put it simply, River has released one of the greatest Australian debut albums of the past decade.

Every single moment on Sugar Mountain is a surefire winner, and there’s an instant appeal apparent on each of the 13 tracks adorning River’s debut. Her glorious voice cascades over stunning soundscapes that dance the fine line between intimate and cinematic.

‘Fault Line’ is so guttural at its core that when River claims “I should have loved you the first time,” it’s instantly relatable as a tale of two people who can’t quite figure out their timing. ‘Constellation Ball’ feels like it would have felt at home on the Almost Famous soundtrack and finds River at her most contemplative. ‘Ballroom’ really shows off River’s vocal prowess as she seems to be able to make her voice do anything she pleases.

‘Confess’ drips in unbridled honesty, while ‘Limo Song’ has a distinct Eels feel about it. Most would have already had the pleasure of hearing ‘Fool’s Gold’ many times over by now, and while it’s unsurprisingly a highlight, what’s pleasing is just how many other highlights on the album it has for company. ‘So High’ again puts River’s voice to the fore and she sure doesn’t disappoint.

Sugar Mountain is such an impressive album that you’ll want to make sure your desired streaming service is set to repeat. You’ll want to keep it on a loop because once is never nearly enough.

9/10