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Musician Haley Fohr Tears Apart Her World and Starts Over

The local singer-songwriter debuted a new character, and new style of music, this summer.

Haley Fohr as Jackie Lynn, her latest musical alter ego   Photo: Julia Dratel

Local singer-songwriter Haley Fohr doesn’t restrict herself to one musical identity. She began performing dark and deeply personal songs as Circuit des Yeux when she was a teenager and released her debut album, In Plain Speech, under the moniker in 2015. In June, Fohr released her latest effort—a biting and synth-driven collection of minimalist tunes—as a character named Jackie Lynn, a runaway drug smuggler who works hard and plays even harder. Catch her show at Silent Funny (4106 W. Chicago Ave.) in Humboldt Park on Thursday.

On growing up in Indiana:

You really had to search for interesting things … I wish I was more facilitated as a kid in my interests in Indiana.

On the culture shock of Chicago:

It was a lot of learning and taking things in. There’s black people. There’s Mexicans. There’s white people. There’s Asians. In Indiana, it’s like 98 percent white, middle class, working class people. So it was challenging, in a good way.

On leaving Chicago’s insular music scene:

I think touring is the most fundamentally important thing to grow as a musician … And it’s really uncomfortable at times, and you push through, and find all these new facets in your art and work.

On creating Jackie Lynn:

Some older white dude was like, “Oh, that’s a terrible idea. You should not do that. That will ruin your career.” And immediately I was like, “I’ve gotta do this, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’

On creating an alias:

I’m really into the idea of creating a singular world, then kind of destroying it, just like there is no commitment.

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