Listen to Jack River’s sunny new single ‘Real Life’

She's also announced shows in Melbourne and Sydney next month

Jack River has returned with her first new music of the year, sharing a sunny new single titled ‘Real Life’.

The summery track sees the singer-songwriter pivot to a dance-oriented sound, with hints of disco, funk and soul. Its upbeat production comes courtesy of Xavier Dunn and The Belligerents‘ Lewis Stephenson, who helped River create the song.

An accompanying music video also arrived with the cut, as vibrant as the single itself. Directed by W.A.M. Bleakley, its use of bright, neon colours radiates ’90s energy, featuring clips of River, butterflies and some old men sunbaking in their budgie smugglers. Watch it below:


“One sunny afternoon in the depths of lockdown I was over feeling feelings,” River explained in an Instagram post. “I just wanted to swim with strangers in some sparkly foreign sea, see a mariachi band walking by on the sand, and maybe have a conversation with a friendly dolphin underwater.”

“Anything to get me away from death scrolling and endless headlines about how awful the world is. I wanted to get back to Real Life. Whatever that was.”

River will be playing two shows next month to celebrate the new single, performing at Melbourne’s Northcote Social Club on Thursday August 18, followed by Sydney’s Oxford Arts Factory the following night. Tickets can be purchased here.

Last year, River released the single ‘We Are The Youth’, which her label I OH YOU described as a “protest anthem” for “a new generation of advocates and activists fighting for change”.

An activist herself, River spoke out on former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plan to reach net zero by 2050 last year, calling it “gutless” and “paper thin”. “We are literally throwing away the country’s future to save the jobs of a handful of greedy politicians who are funded by oil and gas companies and blind trusts,” she told NME at the time.


River went on to become a finalist in the first-ever Environmental Music Prize, alongside Lime Cordiale, BriggsHoly Holy and more. It was won last month by King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, for their climate anthem ‘If Not Now, Then When?’

Jack River’s ‘Real Life’ show dates are: 

Thursday 18 — Melbourne, Northcote Social Club
Friday 19 — Sydney, Oxford Arts Factory