Arguably one of Australia’s most exciting artists of the moment, Jack River, AKA Holly Rankin, simply cannot sit still. While she’s about to release her much-anticipated debut album Sugar Mountain; it’s not just about the music for this girl; community, equality, politics and environment infiltrate every inch of her being.
Rankin, along with a team of local mates, is responsible for Grow Your Own Festival – a community enriching festival in her hometown of Forster highlighting the music, arts, agriculture and businesses of the area. Holly also heads up Electric Lady, a platform that aims to amplify the strength of women in music, politics, science, sport and beyond. The movement has seen two hugely successful nights in Sydney and Melbourne, a dedicated stage at the recent Mountain Sounds Festival and a stage at this year’s Commonwealth Games ‘Festival 2018’ on the Gold Coast.
An artist in the truest sense of the word, an advocate for equality and change and a successful and inspiring entrepreneur – it’s hard to believe this is just the beginning for Jack River and Holly Rankin. Check out her latest single Ballroom.
Who is Jack River?
Jack River is my alter ego, musical vehicle that I made when I was 17. She is an infinity obsessed, melody humming, diary writer, diver and dog lover. I’m about to go to the UK on my first International tour (May), then come home to release my debut album, Sugar Mountain.
And what about Holly! What’s she up to?
Holly is on her laptop making Jack River world. She is working on Grow Your Own 3.0 And Electric Lady 2.0 - Figuring out how to run a company from a tiny wooden desk in a Redfern share house.
Freedom to me is…
The letting go of inner and outer boundaries, fearlessness.
I feel most free..
When I’m in unlimited nature, when I am looking into the eyes of another free human, when I’m the country by the ocean with my dog & brother. When my brain is overdosed with live music from an artist with no boundaries to their heart, when I’m learning something about nature that I didn’t know.
What are the little things you do each day that make you feel most free?
Swim in the ocean at sunrise or sunset, writing down my dreams/visions in my diary late at night, thinking of all the things I love before I go to sleep.
When you’re writing a new song are you inspired by your environment?
For me, songs mostly come beaming out of my mind/heart in a rush when I feel overwhelmed with emotion. Usually they don’t care about where I am. However, I write almost every day in my diary and that’s the place I look for lyrics to fill in gaps in songs, or self reflect or dream up the next thing.
I keep a big wooden desk at my home in Sydney, my parents house up north and my bf’s house down south. These desks are clear, with only my favourite things allowed on top. I often I burn a candle and have fresh flowers from whatever garden is close.
Where do you take inspiration from for your performances + your outfits/style?
Nature and space, the idea of bringing the wonder of the night sky down and matching it with the future, and the earth below is how I wanna feel when I am on stage. Some place in between earth and stars and pointed toward the distant future where these things are more understood and appreciated.
Describe your upcoming debut album Sugar Mountain in 3 words…
Grit, glitter, lifetime.
You’ve just finished a string of national shows playing some of your biggest headline venues to date. How does performing your music like this make you feel?
It feels bloody great. Pre-show (in the days before) I am often secretly really scared and cant remember how much I love it. As soon as I’m on stage though, it all drastically changes and I can’t remember who I am and what I’m doing and get instantly transported into a stronger, weirder, wilder space. I’m coming to realise how much the stage feels like home - though its a super strange concept that I’m still figuring out. Post show feels I’m often elated like getting off a rollercoaster - dizzy and excited and probably hard to relate to for everyone around me - I get waaaay too happy.
The Jim Mitchells
The Jim Mitchells formed as the creative project of the band’s frontman, Jim Mitchell, following his move from WA to Sydney’s Eastern beaches. Having met Third Eye Stimuli Records’ Josh Hutchins-Smith and Richard Snowden through mutual friends, the bedroom project transformed into a live band with Rick and Josh joining the group along with Lime Cordiale’s Louis Leimbach and Dominic Barret. Renowned for their DIY approach, the group has since released an EP (Planet Absorbed, 2016) as well as their recent LP ‘Love Hypnotic’ (2018) via the independent label, opting to produce and mix the record’s themselves in their home studio.
Following the release of ‘Love Hypnotic’ the band hit the road for their biggest National Tour to date, including sold out shows in Brisbane and Perth, as well as a slot at Mountain Sounds Festival on the Central Coast. With some exciting support shows looming throughout April and May, the band is looking forward to a busy end to 2018 before hitting the studio for their next release.
Freedom to us is…
For us- freedom is doing your own thing and owning your path. We operate pretty independently as a band and all of our releases have been self recorded and mixed as well as released through our own label; Third Eye Stimuli Records. In that sense the process is super ‘free’ and we don’t really have anyone to answer to. We find that having total creative control inspires what we do and how we do it, which keeps things fresh for everyone.
We feel most free to express ourselves when…..
We feel the most freedom when we are performing live. Because the band is kinda split between a home recording project and a full live band, when we play live it’s exciting and super satisfying to be playing as a group. It’s really cliché; but performing for others creates a sense of adrenaline and release, and being able to express ourselves and transform recordings into a live setting is always liberating.
Describe The Jim Mitchells in 5 words or less.
Nice guys, good band.
Where do you find inspiration for your music and performances? When do you feel most inspired?
We’re inspired by a lot of different bands and musicians dead or alive, local or foreign. I think that everything you witness, read, hear or experience inspires you in some way- or at least shapes your perception.
I personally take a lot of influence from The Beatles as well as Ty Segall and bands like Deerhunter but as a group we have a very wide range of musical interests, but also a lot of common ground. As a band I feel as though we’re most inspired when we’re spending lots of time together rehearsing or playing live. But personally I find the most inspiration for creativity if I step away from the band for a bit and find some alone time to write or record.
How long have you been making music together and what do you love about making music?
We began playing together in early 2016 but the project had been developing through bedroom recordings for a few years before that.
We do it because it’s fun and it’s expressive. For me it’s an outlet as well, obviously in a creative sense but also for my mind. I like getting away into some headphones and just being in that zone for a bit.
What makes you happiest about what you are doing?
Probably just that we enjoy doing it. It’s not like it’s our job and we earn a pay-check- its like a fun other reality that we go and do apart from normal life-stuff. And so far we’ve been able to go on all these little trips as a group and play music, and meet different people and visit record stores and see new venues.
Hopefully we can continue being able to do that and involve more people and friends along the way.
What can a punter expect from your live show?
Lots of energy- we’re an expressive live band. But also be prepared to dance and have fun n maybe wake up with a sore neck.
Ultimate Jim Mitchells road trip itinerary?
Generally we like to play as much as possible when we’re on the road, stay in a shitty motel as long as it has a tv for some pre-show trash watching, and a pool- gotta have a pool. Plenty of mangoes and the odd visit to The Don aka The Clown never really hurt anyone.
What’s the strangest place you’ve ever played a gig?
Our strangest gig to date was probably on our recent album tour in a small town outside of Melbourne. During our set a local lord jumped up on stage to live stream us on his facebook while he took over the microphone with his own interpretation of Jim Morrison-esque improv poetry. It was super cooked but he was a nice guy and we had a beer and a chat afterwards until he got kicked out haha.
Pub gig VS festival set?
Would have to say a pub or indoor venue gig. Festivals are fun, but an indoor venue is always going to sound better and it’s easier to make the show your own.
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Vivian Kim is a freelance photographer based in Southern California, though she can often be found elsewhere. Being by the coast has greatly influenced what she strives to capture with a camera—timeless and effortless beauty.
Freedom to me is…
letting your hair down, sticking your head out the window, feeling the rush of the wind, dancing to your favorite tunes, brisk mountain air, light breaking through the trees, in anything and everything if we so choose to see it.
I feel most free to embrace because I’ve learned that everything broken is redeemed for the better, and there is beauty to be discovered everywhere around us.
Describe your life in 5 words…
Outdoors, friends, summer, books, food
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
There’s a quote I heard once that really stuck with me: “There are no ordinary moments.” I think it’s well-supported by the natural world, as well. Each interaction influences another and contributes to the order of the world we know. We’ve very much grown used to the wonders of the world, but every single action holds profound beauty and purpose. For this reason, I’m enamored by the little things, and want to share with my viewers, the significance of the seemingly insignificant.
Tell us why you decided to become a photographer instead of following your Uni degree
Haha, wow… I guess that is what I did, huh? Everything just seemed so natural as it was happening, but it sounds much more dramatic when put like that. It seems like most people who have been in similar positions feel an opposition between their passion and their degree/professional vocation. I studied Psychology and Health Sciences in uni, because I was genuinely interested in those things. Simultaneously, I was practicing photography (mainly) as a hobby. I graduated and was still kind-of balancing the two; I was working in a sports-medicine clinic and doing photography on the side (now as a second source of income). I had this wild epiphany, though, when I was looking out the clinic window on a sunny day; I wanted to be PLAYING in the ocean, not staring at it from an exam room. If I were go go to grad school as I had planned, and pursued my desire to work as a Physician’s Assistant in the health industry, I would most likely be working in a similar situation for the next 50 years or so… and I just wasn’t ready for that, to be honest. There’s a lot to be learned in a more traditional, professional setting, but I knew that the world that I currently wanted to explore was beyond the four walls that confined me at that time.
Tell us your most memorable/exciting discovery?
Recently, my most exciting discovery is the freedom that comes from realizing that anything is possible. Nothing in our lives should be restricting; we choose the paths we go down, and I don’t believe there is such as a “wrong” path (in most everyday cases). There is just the path you choose, and you make the best of it, cherish all the highs and learn from the lows, and keep creating your own roadmap to fulfillment. It will probably look different from others’, but that will make it all the more exciting and colorful!
What is/where is something/somewhere new that you’ve discovered recently?
I used to never take baths because I felt guilty about the water usage… This past week, I decided to “save water” by bathing myself before bathing my dog with the same water, and wow. Add some candles + tea + good music, and I can definitely see why people indulge in baths. I’m still very conscious of my water usage, but, geez, did the job just get 10x harder.
How do you feel about sharing your adventures/discoveries with others?
I’m always eager to share. I’m easily excited, and I feel really thankful for that quality. I think it’s easy to look at the world through a more mundane lens at times, and I jump at any chance I get to brighten up someone’s perspective.
What parts of all your travels do you enjoy the most?
Definitely meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Traveling has shown me the beauty in our differences, and power in our similarities. From sea to sea, what has left me the most captivated has been the kindness of complete strangers—the connectedness we share.
How do you go about discovering talent, locations and ideas for your content? Talk us through your creative process.
I first think of my vision and create a moodboard, considering my personal style, what the client’s brand identity is, and what message we want to collectively convey. Then, I think of the dream talent in my head who I believe would be most fitting for the shoot: is he/she sun-kissed, edgy, innocent, strong, etc.? I scout a few options for talent, and share with the client my potential choices for talent, to make sure that we are staying on-brand. In terms of location, I can typically envision a setting for the story we want to tell. Being in California, there is such a variety of locations to choose from. I go to the locations that first come to mind and observe the light, weather patterns, etc. until we can collectively decide which location is best (and to have a Plan B just in case).
Our upcoming Freedom campaign will be putting the spotlight on
people who inspire others by doing what they’re passionate about.
People who are curious, who create, who use their voice, who are on
the road of discovery; people who are fearless and free to
We are profiling a number of different people and personalities
throughout the campaign period, celebrating individuality and
expression with their personal take on the common theme ofFreedom’ and what it means to each individual.
The jeans that make up this collection have been crafted in premium
European stretch performance denim and successfully combine
comfort, a unique silk touch and high powered retention for the
ultimate companion for any journey. The denim has also had a
speciality softener added for a soft touch, deeper colour and that all
important ability to become favourites instantly.
Head to our Freedom gallery to find out more about our featured Freedom personalities.
You can find the Freedom denim easily on the website by searching 'Freedom' in the search bar or looking out for the Freedom icons on the denim images.
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Denim flares, mood rings and mustard yellow prints. Our iconic retro style comes to life in the launch of our second collaboration with Urban Outfitters. Shop the nostalgic 70’s era meets subtle western vibes in this limited edition collection featuring an epic suede fringe jacket and iconic high-rise denim silhouettes in perfect vintage inspired washes. Exclsuive to wrangler.com.au and Urban Outfitters.
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At Wrangler our motto has been the same since the beginning. It’s all about the jeans. Designed locally in Australia for free-spirited individuals, who live by an underlying sense of adventure and freedom.