Photo by Derek Henderson
I have to admit that I'm not at all familiar with Rowland S. Howard or his song "Shivers." Released as a single for Howard and Nick Cave's band The Boys Next Door, fellow Julia Jacklin recorded a version for a tribute to Australian producer Tony Cohen. Jacklin's version stays quite faithful to the original, just maybe not quite as dark. (At least as not dark as a song can be when the opening line is "I've been contemplating suicide.") It's still a sparse song that is kind of like a post-punk singer/songwriter track, but Jacklin's vocals seem to elevate the song. Is it even possible for any song not to benefit from her voice? It's a powerful song made even more compelling by Jacklin.
Julia Jacklin says of the song:
“It’s been covered a lot, but it’s a special one for me. It was one of the first songs I ever learnt to play. Many Sydney bars, venues and open mic nights have heard me sing this song. Howard wrote it at 16 and I’ve always loved how much the lyrics capture that type of unbridled, dramatic teenage infatuation. The kind that physically hurts but also makes you laugh at yourself.”
You can listen to Julia Jacklin's version of "Shivers" below. The song is available as a single via Polyvinyl. For more on Julia Jacklin, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.