Jack River is back with her forthcoming album Endless Summer, ten well-crafted pop songs that shimmer like melting highways and drip like strawberry ice-cream. This record is an oasis, something to retreat to amid the apocalyptic horrors of climate disaster – and that was forefront of Rankin’s mind when she came to record the album. Rankin’s previous album, Sugar Mountain – also as Jack River – launched her onto playlists and festival bills with enviable velocity. Beat Magazine called it “one of the greatest Australian albums of the past decade” and single Fool’s Gold went platinum. When the world shut down in 2019, Rankin became deeply involved in climate change action and then in campaigning for the 2022 election. “I love working at the intersection of culture and politics,” she says. “I was making the album at the same time, which was an interesting mindset shift, but it pushed me to make it more dreamy. Instead of writing a protest album, it’s come out like a magical Beach Boys ride.” And that’s the paradox of Endless Summer. Finding the balance between escapism and real life is something Rankin is facing in every facet of her world: in music, in activism and now as a parent. Endless Summer is released Friday 16 June through I Oh You.