With a debut album release in plain sight and a sold-out national tour in the books, Jack River’s career is flowing in the right direction. But things weren’t always this calm.

The Sydney-based, Forster-raised singer, songwriter and producer, known to family and friends as Holly Rankin, absorbed a horrific loss in her teens. She was just 14 when her sister passed away in an accident. “It was a crazy time in my life and it stretched across my final teenage years. Because my family was so messed up and distraught over those teenage years I had quite a confused dark time,” she recounts to TIO. “The way I remedied myself was definitely music.”

Rankin assumed her Jack River persona and poured her energies into art, the result of which is Sugar Mountain, her debut indie-pop LP due out June 22 via I Oh You. The followup to her 2016 EP Highway Songs No. 2, Sugar Mountain was written across a five year stretch as the young artist emerged from the darkness and thrust herself into an alternative youth.

Stream Highway Songs No. 2 below:

“In my early 20s I realized how production could build another world. This album is the youth that I wanted, that wasn’t happening.”