We live in polarizing times. We grip onto definitions of ourselves and each other. Joy, and the letting go of things is an admirable pursuit – it’s almost unfashionable to express an authentic desire for connection with opposites. Yet, here we are with Jackie Lynn and her new track, “Shugar Water” – which is filled with things like compassion, joy, and good stuff.
Lifted from the upcoming album, Jacqueline, which will drop on April 10 via Drag city, this new track gathers momentum from “Casino Queen”. It’s a statement of intent. Yes, on one level this is pop. However, on all other levels – for those listening beyond the easy-driven percussion and guitar hooks – there’s an alternate, other-worldliness to what’s being offered.
Jackie Lynn is the alter ego of Haley Fohr, who some may know through her indie-folk project, Circuit des Yeux. Here, twisting off into a new trajectory, Fohr finds a confidence in creating a world, rather than reflecting upon reality. It’s in this new, other space, that an odd light shines – back into the gravity of what we’re all dealing with. Back in the world we mentioned at the start of this review, where things like joy and compassion aren’t always easy to find.
The artist’s interest in the ‘other’ element of things offers concealed substances beneath the immediately obvious. Excavating beyond the surface there’s a kind of high-pop-art here. Makes sense then, that the accompanying video for “Shugar Water” has a heavy Lynchian vibe.
Two characters inhabit the space of “Jacqueline” – and “Shugar Water” acts as a kind of conduit for the inner and out worlds. Sounds all a bit heavy, right? Maybe it is. But it’s the pursuit of marrying the inner and outer landscapes, the fictions and the realities, that is key. I mean, you can just listen and dance if you like. Just like you can watch Twin Peaks and think all you’re doing is watching the story of a simple murder.
But we’re getting away from ourselves. Point is – there’s a lot going on here. Fohr has constructed an alter-ego that then goes on to create another world, and a separate version of herself. It’s this creation of artifice, which somehow delivers something rich, authentic and true. Something that couldn’t have been arrived at if Fohr has simply stood up in front of a microphone and said ‘Shit is real’.
Jungian elements smash with Bolan-esque glamor. Riffs offer a surprising melody. All of this in a danceable track and a delightful, dark video. This thing is as close to perfect, subversive pop as we need.
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PHOTOGRAPH BY EVAN JENKINS