Jen Cloher - 'Forgot Myself'

A punk-rock figurehead of Melbourne’s famous DIY music scene and co-founder of Milk! Records, it says a lot that the least interesting way to frame Jen Cloher is that she just so happens to be the partner of an internationally acclaimed songwriter.

On her latest single, 'Forgot Myself' it is however an unavoidable touch point, primarily because while Courtney Barnett’s intricate, assured guitar forms the backbone for Cloher’s barbed, Rolling Stones’ referencing slacker rock she might also be part of the focus for the song itself.

'Forgot Myself' is a little more sharp-edged, a little more rough and ready than Barnett’s own oeuvre but its nonetheless pervasive as distance, and loneliness are tackled brilliantly, in a series of revealing epithets, 

"There’s only so much you can say in a text
Reading between the lines is hazardous
A slow reply can really mess with your head" 

Jen Cloher is however never guilty of intellectualisation, her masterful spiralling, stream of consciousness lyrics twist and turn as the most simple of sayings are utilised for stark poetry,

"For all the time I spend worrying
Most things they never happen"

That Cloher was nominated for a 2006 ARIA Music Award and shortlisted for the 2013 Australian Music Prize should come of little surpise, though it does prove how unfortunate it is that her music has largely failed to travel overseas.

It’s very clear on ‘Forgot Myself’ that it’d be more than criminal if this persists. Her latest is unflinching, biting stuff that extracts brilliance out of what could easily be seen as an overwrought subject. In this sense perhaps its most deft reveal, is its last, that identity is the ultimate crisis of loneliness,

"When you’re gone too long I become an idea
I’m driving in my car
Your song comes on the radio
And I remember what I always forget
Loneliness"

Her self-titled record 'Jen Cloher' releases on Milk! Records and Marathon Artist, August 11th.