When I was about fifteen, I was Tumblr-famous. Not real world famous, but well-known enough to a certain kind of indie teen who spent their nights in the cult-like black hole that Tumblr was circa 2013. Anyway, the key to my quasi-success (apart from manic diary entries) was that I only reblogged something if it looked like it could feasibly be a Puberty Blues screenshot or a photo from inside a nightclub. Or what I imagined a nightclub to look like: hazy, lit in neon, walls lined with metallic tassels, probably hotties pashing in a cushy enclave. Sadly, clubs are not like that! Clubs are terrible terrible places filled with terrible terrible people.
Not in Jack River’s world, though! Her “Ballroom” video is the kind of thing that fifteen-year-old me would have reblogged the shit out of. Like a scene taken from Gossip Girl, it’s set in a club filled with beautiful neon lighting and hotties pashing and, somewhat inexplicably, a swimming pool. The song is the kind of 2010s indie throwback that Jack River has come to excel at –– a kind of Killers-lite guitar-based pop track that feels engineered to elicit dancing and/or tears and/or nostalgia for youth. But, like the best teen club scenes, “Ballroom” is tinged with angst: “All these people in the room,” River sings, “But I just wanna be alone.” Let me tell you, from someone who knows: that would have made a great Tumblr bio.
Jack River is playing shows in support of “Ballroom” from mid-March. Find the details at her website.
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