Currently comprised of Winnipeg-born founding members Jackie Mohr and Marc Girardin with Max Trefler, the Toronto-based electro pop/electro rock act jackie can trace their origins to the formation and breakup of Mohr’s and Girardin’s previous band — The Mohrs, an act that shared stages with the likes of Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction and The Glorious Sons.
In 2012, Mohr and Girardin relocated to Toronto, where they met Trefler and released a rock-based effort through Light Organ Records before a radical change in sonic direction necessitated a rename. “We changed our sound on this new EP, replacing bass with analog synth, and went back to having just us three as the core of the project,” the band’s Jackie Mohr explains in an email. “After a few year hiatus we’ve come back as ‘jackie’. More aware of where we want to take our place in music.”
Interestingly, the band’s transformation was partially fueled by Mohr’s experiences as a woman in a male-dominated landscape. “I’ve never had a problem holding my own in this industry, or with men, but it really does make you question why there’s so little female presence,” Mohr points out.
“When I was promoting my first single, my radio team told my management it was going to be very difficult getting ‘a female on rock radio.’ I don’t think I’ve ever hated a comment more. I didn’t get it then and I don’t get it now,” Mohr continues. “I think it’s time for a new narrative. This is especially important in the LGBTQ community. Heteronormative relationships are only a small part of what’s out there, and how people love one another. Other communities need to be represented as well. I remember on my debut album I worried about saying ‘her’ or ‘she‘ as a lyric because people would class me as a ‘gay artist’. This sort of thing is important for sure, and I am a gay woman, but it’s not all I am, and I never wanted that to be the focal point of my/our music, or my musical career. The band, our music, and myself are much more than that. Music is for everyone.”
“We write songs for the everyday radio listener, and the guitar nerd,” Mohr, who owns a 1962 Silverstone 1423 nicknamed Monicka Del Toro adds. “Maybe writing good music will be more important than Instagram followers again someday.”
Interestingly, the Canadian trio’s latest single, the Hawksley Workman-produced “Lifetime in a Touch” finds the band crafting pop-leaning track that’s simultaneously a club banger and an arena rock anthem, complete with a driving groove, synth arpeggios reminiscent of Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back,” a scorching guitar solo and Mohr’s earnest, pop belter vocals. It’s the sort of rousingly anthemic song that you can envision sweaty young people shouting along to in a dark club — but the real reason it works is that it’s rooted in real, lived-in, deeply universal experiences. As the trio explain, the song is “essentially a song about heartbreak, but it’s told through a positive outlook The lyrics in the verses represent the past lover that engulfed and controlled you, while the chorus reminds you that there’s more to life than lovers.”