Drag City (label)
11 April 2020 (released)
11 April 2020
Jackie Lynn is the fictional pseudonym (or is it the other way round …?) of singer/songwriter Haley Fohr who is also known for her indie folk project Circuit des Yeux. With this mature follow-up Jacqueline, Lynn returns with her continuing story narrated by Fohr and ably assisted by Bitchin Bajas crew Cooper Crain, Rob Frye and Dan Quinlivan.
‘Lynn’s’ self-titled debut in 2016 a ‘fried cocaine country record’ told the story of the enigmatic ‘Jackie' and her ‘life’ to date which included a former existence as a ‘drug dispenser’ in Chicago. She ain’t no chemist, though. Ever since those illicit times she’s been on the run to the outside of everything. On this analogue-monologue-travelogue these new songs are her missives to the world.
This alter-ego has not yet landed. Jackie’s now committed to a a peripatetic existence, forever on the go and never on the slow (lest her past catches up) the lost highways are her only sanctuaries. Each track details nine days of ups, downs, trials and travails. Snapshots of place to place, town to town, a stranger in a strange land, a life on the margins sticks out like a sore thumb to prying eyes so discretion is paramount. Nature is her compass (as ordnance and moral), the ‘moon her incubator’ on the meditative stock-taking ‘Traveller’s code of conduct’.
Like Orville Peck, another masked sigh plains drifter with a chequered backstory, Lynn is a cipher, a filter for noirish escapades and western visions of frontier existentialism. Remembering who you were and who you are now is a constant dialectic, a daily battle to avoid becoming unstuck.
On ‘Casino Queen and ‘Odessa’ ‘Jackie’ sounds like a techno Tanita Tikaram shaking some action to Giorgio Moroder, administering deep guttural mysticisms from the dancefloor’s edge. The looping ‘Odessa’ in particular is a 9 minute robo-groove, C3P-Oh-yeah! It’s like being lost in the maze in The Shining. It’s snowing and Jack’s got his axe. Everywhere and nowhere to run.
There’s also a scent of Kraftwerk’s electretro-futurism (‘Control’ and its Morse Code like emissions) and Brian Eno’s ambientscapes (‘Lenexa’), Ricky Nelson’s alone-some pining and at times Annie Lennox’s Eurhythmically spoken stare-glare (the slo-mo space-disco funk of Diamond Glue’).
‘Shugar Water’ lifts liberally from Sparks’s ‘Amateur Hour’ with her soaring intonation also evocative of Russel Mael’s orch-poptones.
The somnambulant moonlit traipse down ‘Dream St.’ features string-driven swing from Julie Pomerleau and enfant provocateur ‘Bobby Conn’.
Rumours of a concept album, regarding the life and times of retired English golfer Tony Jacklin are yet to be denied.
This is Jackie Lynn. Catch her while she’s still in sight.